Prahran have overtaken Carlton as the Bartercard Premier League leaders after beating the Blues in a low scoring T20 clash at Toorak Park in round eleven. The True Blues did it the hard way eventually edging past Carlton’s score of 77 with eight balls to spare and two wickets in hand.
Carlton skipper, Tim Welsford, won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked a flat wicket. A short boundary to the eastern side of the ground would have had batsmen licking their lips; however the regularity of wickets tumbling provided little opportunity for lusty hitting during the match.
It didn’t appear that way in the first two overs however. Blues opener, Nathan Pilon, clubbed two boundaries from Stephen Seymour and then opening partner Lachlan McKenna smacked 50 gamer Steven Singh for six over mid on in his first over.
That’s virtually where any of the T20 clubbing stopped as batsmen found the wicket difficult to play shots on. The ball kept low and the wicket played slow with just four of the eighteen wickets to fall not being bowled or lbw.
McKenna tried to hang around as wickets tumbled around him. When he fell with the score at 6-42 the Blues top spot was quickly slipping away.
Tailender Cameron Stevenson chipped in with nineteen to top score for Carlton and along with McKenna 15 and Donovan Pell 10 was the only Blues batsmen to reach double figures. The Prahran bowlers shared the wickets around with Nicholas Morrey snaring 3-11 from his four overs, Seymour, Singh and Nathan McNally all with two each.
The home side wobbled even more at the start of their innings. When Seymour was bowled by Welsford for ten the score was 5 for 27 and the game was back in Carltons hands. James Miller and skipper, Sam Coates, then put on a valuable 24 before Miller lost his stumps to Nicholas Austin.
When Coates was bowled trying to put spinner Thomas Smyth down the ground the game swung back Carltons way at 8-63. Matt Wilcox joined fellow tailender Morrey and the pair steered Prahran home, Wilcox driving Stevenson past point for a couple before punching the air as he ran down the wicket.
Eighteen extras including fifteen wides didn’t help the Blue’s cause in a low scoring affair. The Prahran batsmen faired only slightly better than their opposition with four reaching double figures including Wilcox 13no, Seymour 10, Miller 15 and Coates 13.
Stevenson bowled well for the Blues to finish with 2-22 off 3.4 overs while Ryan Sidebottom was tidy with 2-11 from his four as was Smyth with 2-14 off three. Unfortunately the two sides don’t clash in a two-dayer during the season which, given their current ladder positions, would have made for great viewing.
Round 12 sees Prahran away to the Camberwell Magpies who will be keen to knock of the ladder leaders at home whilst Carlton return to Princess Park number one oval to take on lowly Casey- South Melbourne, fresh from an upset win over Essendon.