A combined batting effort and a stupendous bowling spell from Reiley Mark helped Monash Tigers emerge victorious against Casey-South Melbourne Swans by 9 runs in the round 3 of Vic Super Slam at Central Reserve North on Wednesday, 6 November.
Having opted to bat first on what turned out to be a slow wicket, Tigers lost Zac Sleeman in the third over as Nathan Lambden went through the southpaw’s defence. However, Adam Amin and Kyle Viccars made the most of fielding restrictions with the latter ending the powerplay with a lovely strike over the bowler’s head for half a dozen. Tigers were 1/41 at the end of six overs.
The introduction of spin in Luke Wells led to another wicket which brought Marcus Berryman to the crease. Berryman got off to a brisk start in his innings scoring two boundaries and a six before being dismissed for 22.
Viccars, who struck consecutive boundaries shortly after Sleeman’s departure, was then joined by Andrew Humphries. Both batsmen didn’t allow the Casey-South Melbourne bowlers to settle – making the most of the right hand-left hand combination – as the pair ran brilliantly between the wickets and converted the boundary scoring balls consistently as well.
The 67-run stand was eventually broken by Lambden, with Humphries walking back for 21. With Tigers in a strong position at 4/110, 140 seemed like an achievable score but Maxwell and Lambden limited the damage for the away side, with Tigers finishing at 7/132.
Casey-South Melbourne Swans lost opener Joel Mitchell cheaply in the 133-run chase but it wasn’t until Mark’s introduction that the home side took control of the match.
Having been called to roll the arm over by Mills in the 5th over, the off-spinner removed skipper Wells and Nathan Freitag off consecutive deliveries. Aaron Fernando denied Mark a hat-trick but a frugal spell of 4-0-2-8 put the Tigers in the driver’s seat. When Mark finished his quota, Wells and Co required 78 off the final ten overs.
Michael Wallace fought a lone battle for Casey-South Melbourne Swans, as he remained unbeaten on 61 but lack of striking ability from the other end meant that they were left with too much to do from the last over.
With 16 required off six balls, Humphries bowled tight lines to ensure that Tigers went over the line without any drama.