Frankston High School Intermediate Boys Cricket Team are State Champions for 2018 after a dominant display on State Finals day on 16 November, held at Macleay Oval in North Balwyn.
In glorious sunny conditions for cricket, the team displayed their class in defeating Bendigo’s Catherine McAuley College in the morning semi final, before launching a blistering batting display to defeat South Geelong’s Grovedale College in the afternoon Final.
The Frankston High School team comprised cricketers with excellent senior experience, including Captain Luke Kranzbuhler and Vice Captain Sean Van Wijk, who are both excelling at Victorian Premier Cricket Level with Dandenong and Frankston Peninsula respectively.
Other players who have also tasted senior cricket with their local MPCA clubs include Bailey Bakker at Somerville, Sam Webster at Mt Eliza, and Luke Long, Jai Block and Josh Rice at Baden Powell.
Comprising nine Year 10 students and two Year 9 students, the majority of the team has played together in the school teams for four years, forming a close bond to generate this successful result.
In the State Semi Final commencing early at 9am, the students from Bendigo elected to bat first and proceeded without much trouble to 1/56 in the 10th over. However Frankston fought back hard with a brilliant 10 over block to limit Catherine McAuley College to only 8/98 from their 20 over allocation.
Spinners Sam Webster (2/18 off 4 overs) and Luke Long (2/15 off 4 overs) restricted the run scoring very well, supported by solid outfield catching from Luke Kranzbuhler and swift glove work from wicket keeper Sean Van Wijk.
In reply, Frankston was never under pressure, achieving the target to make 100 from 15.3 overs with the loss of just three wickets. The runs were shared between Bailey Bakker (11 off 8 balls), Sean Van Wijk (36 off 47), Luke Kranzbuhler (26 off 24), Luke Long (13* off 8) and Jai Block (10* off 6).
Moving onto the State Final, Grovedale decided to bowl after winning the toss, in what proved to hand the advantage over to Frankston. In an amazing display of power hitting, the side raced to 1/120 off their first 10 overs, including an incredible 33 runs from the sixth over.
Sean Van Wijk (31 off 28 balls) scored with ease at the top of the order, before Luke Kranzbuhler (72 off 29) unleashed nine fours and four sixes to take the match away from the opposition. Aidan Fulcher (34 off 21) added some hand lower order runs, bringing the total to an imposing 7/194 off 20 overs.
Grovedale had a massive job to do to get close to the target, and went out hard early as a result in the search for quick runs. Without much luck Grovedale fell to 6/36 off six overs and they looked to be out of contention. However, a rapid seventh wicket partnership of 67 got the Southern Geelong side back in the hunt, before they were dismissed for 151 with 13 balls remaining in the innings to ensure the State Title for Frankston.
Luke Kranzbuhler was fast and accurate with the new ball, smashing into the stumps twice to finish with an amazingly economical 3/6 off 4 overs. Sam Webster (3/46 off 4) opened the bowling with his leg spin and was targeted to the boundary, but still collected three wickets from mis-timed shots in the air.
When Sam Webster caught a skied ball at point from the bowling of Aidan Fulcher, it was time to celebrate the win and complete the long journey to be crowned the State’s best for 2018.
The journey to the State title commenced in March when Frankston High School defeated McClelland College, Mount Erin College and Elisabeth Murdoch College to claim the Northern Peninsula Division pennant.
In October, after having a bye in the Southern Metropolitan Region Quarter Final, Frankston High School defeated Parkdale Secondary College in the SMR Semi Final, before defeating Dandenong High School in the SMR Final.
This result took the team to picturesque Yarragon on 7 November to meet Gippsland Region champions Drouin Secondary College in the State Quarter Final.
In the State Quarter Final, Drouin won the toss and elected to bowl first in the slippery conditions, with Frankston compiling 9/129 from their 20 overs thanks to top order innings from Sean Van Wijk (32 off 37 balls) and Luke Long (34 off 28 balls).
Needing to bowl and field well to contain Drouin under that underpar target, Frankston executed their plans well to have Drouin struggling at 7/66 in the 15th over. A brief late order rally had Drouin in the hunt for an unlikely victory, before the challenge was halted and the side was dismissed for 112 from the last ball of the innings.
Josh Rice (3/15 off 4 overs) and Jai Block (2/28 off 4 overs) were the chief wicket takers, securing Frankston High School’s place in the final four teams in the State.
Everyone at Frankston High School is extremely proud of the team’s achievements, with State Titles being very difficult to achieve.
Back Row (L-R): Bailey Bakker, Josh Rice, Nicholas Hammel, Mr Glenn Davey (Team Coach), Luke Long, Declan Hughes, Jai Block.
Front Row (L-R): Sam Webster, Sean van Wijk (Vice Captain), Luke Kranzbuhler (Captain), Aidan Fulcher, Jonah Avery.
Mr Glenn Davey