In a vital must win clash at the HIBS Oval on Saturday the HIBS First XI team emerged with an 86 run victory over Onslow to secure a place in the premier one final for the 3rd year in a row.
After winning the toss HIBs were rocked early with Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears and Jesse Taskhoff all departing cheaply and HIBS in serious trouble at 12 for 3. Akshar Patel joined skipper Troy Johnson and added 30 runs until Akshar was stumped off Daniel Pile. Brad Johns, Joe Foote and Sunny Kanuparthi were all dismissed when a decent partnership with Troy was desperately needed and at 80 for 7 a score of under 100 was looking a real possibility.
The arrival of Tyler Simpson saw the start of another promising partnership until Tyler was caught behind for 14 with the score at 105. The feeling was another 30-40 runs could be enough and Caleb Hewson and Logan Slee both stayed with Troy long enough to get the HIBS total to 120 and Troy through to a very important half century. Troy has played many match winning innings in his 117 games for HIBS and this was right up there in terms of importance, his classy 63 no off 115 balls including 6 boundaries gave HIBS a glimmer of hope. Coach Borthwick was very disappointed with the batting effort, although the wicket was challenging many of the dismissals were through poor shot options by the batsman mainly playing across the line too early. Credit also to a very good bowling and fielding effort by the Onslow side.
120 was HIBS lowest score and worst batting effort in over 3 years and at the innings break Skipper Johnson challenged his side to now produce their best ever bowling and fielding effort, Onslow also knew that they would have to bat well against a very good bowling unit but one good partnership would be enough to get them home.
Matthew McComb and Tyler opened up for HIBS and built enormous pressure early by giving nothing away and with 2 smart chances taken by Akshar Patel and Jesse Tashkoff saw an unsettled Onslow at 8 for 2. Their top 3 run scoring batsman all then came and went with 2 juggling catches by Troy and Ben breaking Onslow’s hearts. At 18 for 6 with Matty McComb and Rachin each having taken 2 wickets, Ben Sears was unleashed to mop up their tail and he certainly delivered. No doubt wanting to get home in a hurry to do some more study, Ben bowled the quickest that many observers have seen in college cricket for a long time, keeper Brad Johns was gloving the ball at least 23 metres back from the stumps. Ben’s 3 wickets saw Onslow all out for 34 and in the end a very comprehensive win for HIBS.
Troy’s innings was massive for HIBS particularly when the other 21 batsman in the game totalled less than his personal score of 63!. The final next week against a very good St Pats Town side will need to see a better batting display from all the HIBS batsman to see them win their 3rd premier final in a row, St Pats Town will also be out to avenge their Gillette Cup loss just over a month ago.