By Simon McEvoy,
Frankston Standard Leader
November 12, 2017
FOUR late withdrawals, including John Hastings, unsettled Frankston Peninsula ahead of its crucial clash with Casey-South Melbourne on Saturday.
But, despite the setbacks, the Heat — with Ben Ashkenazi and late inclusion Jake Wood bowling superbly — scored a stirring 55-run win to climb to 10th, just outside the top eight.
Hastings was named in the Frankston Peninsula side on Thursday night but pulled out 24 hours later with ankle soreness. Batsman Will Crowder (quad) and fast bowler Jackson Mockett (shoulder) also pulled up sore from Thursday training, while spinner Jack Benbow withdrew on Saturday morning.
Yet, Frankston Peninsula turned in a strong display with bat and ball to control the game throughout.
Batting first, the Heat posted 8-225 (cc) off 50 overs, set up by English import Tom Wood (84) at the top of the order. Skipper Dale Elmi (35), Brodie Symons (32 off 25 balls) and Nick Boland (24no) made vital contributions in the middle order.
In reply, Casey-South Melbourne reached 1-39 when it all went wrong, the Swans losing 3-0 as Ashkenazi struck with consecutive deliveries (and might have been stiff not to get a hat-trick after an appeal for a caught behind was denied).
From 4-39, Casey slumped to 6-89 and eventually was dismissed for 170.
Ashkenazi turned the game with his spell of 3-28 off 10 overs, while Wood, after taking the new ball, finished with 4-45 off 10, making the most of his surprise call-up.
Another late inclusion, Billy Humphrey, took 2-22.
Hastings, who will captain the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash this summer, is expected to be fit to take his place in the Frankston Peninsula side this Saturday.
“We named him on Thursday but he had ankle soreness and pulled out on Friday night,’’ Heat official Glenn Davey said. “We are expecting him to play the T20s the next four games over two weekends. That should be ideal preparation for the Big Bash.’’
The Heat face Melbourne University (away) and Kingston Hawthorn (home) in successive T20s next Saturday and Sunday respectively.