It was a successful week for the North Alphington seniors, with the second XI defending 110 to keep themselves firmly in the hunt for finals while the first XI completed a big win on the back of 134 from Matt Obst.
1st XI: North Alphington 249-3 (M Obst 134, D Sonnberg 50*, M Khan 38) def Edinburgh 190 (O Price 2-18, N Obst 2-23, L Waters 2-57, F Clancy 1-14, S Nogara 1-19, N Devidas 1-30) by 59 runs at Alfred Crescent Oval.
A brilliant 134 from Matt Obst headlined a comfortable victory for North Alphington’s first XI over Edinburgh at Alfred Crescent Oval which provided a welcome confidence boost with finals just around the corner.
Batting first, North Alphington got off to a blistering start courtesy of Obst and makeshift opener Mohsin Khan. Taking advantage of the relatively short boundaries on offer, the pair put on 83 in less than 14 overs to put Edinburgh on the back foot from the start. With Khan dismissed for a valuable 38, Obst was joined by Dean Sonnberg, who provided excellent support as the runs continued to flow. Already on 58 at the break after surviving a few near-misses, Obst batted maturely through the middle overs, with the occasional boundary driving his push for a second career century. The hundred was brought up with a single to midwicket in the 31st over, with the score sitting at 177-1. Obst and Sonnberg extended their partnership to 156 by the last over of the innings, with Sonnberg completing an unbeaten half-century. Obst was eventually run out for 134, and a final flurry pushed the total to an imposing 249-3.
Edinburgh came out with understandable aggression in the second innings, but some tight bowling with the new ball prevented them from getting away too quickly. At 50-1 the hosts had found some momentum, but the introduction of Ollie Price and Nik Devidas to the attack both dried up the runs and provided several key breakthroughs. Edinburgh were able to keep getting shots away in the last 20 overs, but North Alphington maintained enough pressure with their occasional breakthroughs and a pair of wickets to Luke Waters in the 31st over pushed the result beyond all doubt.
With a big clash against ladder-leaders Notting Hill-Brandon Park awaiting next week, North Alphington’s strong batting effort provides plenty of encouragement as the race for the premiership begins to take shape.
2nd XI: North Alphington 110-9 (R Lewis 24, D Alex 21*, R Price 20, M Mudge 11, D Gyomber 10) def Notting Hill-Brandon Park 87 (D Alex 3-4, O Lee 3-26, J Alex 2-10, D Bell 1-10) by 23 runs at Pitcher Park.
The NACC Second XI’s finals hopes are alive and kicking.
A tremendous fighting 23-run win against third-ranked Notting Hill-Brandon Park on Saturday leaves NACC a win outside the four with two games remaining before finals.
Defending just 110, the NACC bowlers and fielders combined brilliantly to dismantle the NHBP lineup, which lost 7-33 en route to all out for 87. Ollie Lee had a day out in the field, snagging 3-26 with his hostile pace, and also produced a brilliant direct-hit run out at a crucial moment. The Alex family did the rest of the damage, dad Dean wrapping up the win with 3-4 off just 19 balls, and son James bowling six superb overs in grabbing 2-10. Skipper David Bell also grabbed a scalp with a peach of a delivery.
Earlier, the veterans led the way with the bat, stoic opener Richard Lewis top-scoring with 24, and Richard Price and Dean Alex combining for an enterprising and entertaining eighth-wicket partnership which pushed NACC beyond 100. Ollie Lee, Max Mudge and Lachie Edwards also contributed.
Games against bottom-placed Balwyn Saints and finals contender Hartley loom and NACC will be pushing hard to win both in its 11th-hour mission to snatch a finals berth.