Richmond Cricket Club hold nerves to edge Melbourne by one run in a humdinger

Richmond Cricket Club’s Krishna Padmanabhan removed Melbourne’s last wicket with them needing 2 runs as the Tigers edged Melbourne Cricket Club in the weekend semi-final at Central Reserve North.

After Melbourne put Tigers in, the pair of Krishna Padmanabhan and Yash Pednekar provided a solid start facing Jackson Koop resolutely and absorbing the pressure.

However, Phil Halbish’s introduction into the attack led to the first wicket, with Padmanabhan trapped LBW for 20. Marcus Jackman followed suit and got rid of Pednekar quickly as well.

Melbourne built on the pressure and didn’t allow Richmond to get away easily. With Koop striking consistently, Tim Goodman rose up to the challenge and played the anchor role.

Zac Sleeman turned the tide with this aggressive approach – he got off the mark with a boundary.

Sleeman upped the ante after lunch – when the score read 4/73 – as he hit a slew of boundaries to get the Tigers over the 100-run mark and bring up his half-century eventually. However, his innings was cut short for 59 by Halbish.

Tigers were still in a strong position but Koop’s hattrick – Goodman, Keast and Moon – reduced the Tigers to 9/174. Koop removed the last wicket – his sixth – to bowl out the home side for 180.

Melbourne responded positively in the second innings with William Thompson and skipper Peter Petricola seeing off the new ball without any hiccups and then forging a 50-run stand to lay a solid foundation.

The situation appeared grim for Tigers with Melbourne eating up the lead comfortably until Toby Keast made an immediate impact on his first ball by trapping Petricola LBW for 24. By the time Melbourne crossed the 100-run mark, they had lost Charles Lill and Thompson (71) as well.

Melbourne remained in the driver’s seat at the end of Day 1 despite Bailey Moon’s twin strikes moments before lunch with the score reading 5/132.

Moon resumed from where he left off on Day 2 with Holmes sent back for 6. Ashley Becker cleaned up Will Ryan as well to further dent Melbourne. Becker’s disciplined bowling was rewarded with another wicket in the form of Jackman. Melbourne went from 5/132 to 9/143 making Richmond the favourites.

However, Koop and Halbish remained resolute and kept their composure as they closed in on the 180-run mark cautiously. It wasn’t until Halbish creamed a straight drive for a boundary, which took the side’s total to 179, that Melbourne really fancied their chances.

However, with one run to tie, Padmanabhan bamboozled Halbish to trap him in front for 24 giving Tigers the first innings by the barest of margins.

Pednekar (46), Goodman (32) and Viccars (28) ensured that Tigers don’t lose the grip over the match as the players shook hands with Tigers leading by 126 runs.

4s

Melbourne beat Tigers by six wickets

Melbourne Cricket Club bowled out Richmond Cricket Club for 134 before chasing down the target at Central Reserve South in the semi-final on the weekend.

Most Richmond batsmen got starts but none could be converted into big scores on what seemed to be a difficult pitch for stroke making. Trent Thompson’s fifer further worsened things for Tigers, who were bowled out for 134.

Benji Gore, Cameron Stow and Nic Cowling were among the wickets but lack of scoreboard pressure meant that Melbourne went over the line without any hindrances.