200 for Kara!

on Monday, 11 April 2016.

There's no doubt who deserved to walk away with this week's Virus Performance of the Week.

Melbourne University's Elias Karageorgiou put in a sublime batting display in the second XI fixture against the Panthers, returning home from Shepley Oval with an unbeaten 209.

It was the right-hander's fourth and biggest Premier ton, and sits alongside some other stellar Student batting displays this season.

The two sides will face up again in three days' time with Dandy 0-18, chasing a mammoth 418 for victory.

Uni are currently streets ahead of nearest challengers Melbourne at the top of the second XI table.

It's a similar picture in the threes who also sit top, the fourths are currently second in their race for another flag.

'Kara' took time out this week to talk to Andrew Groves about his career-best performance and the club's progress down the grades.

AG: Congrats on the double hundred. Can you talk me through the knock? You must have been absolutely delighted heading off the field?

EK: Thanks. Reflecting back on it now it all happened pretty quickly. As you go through long innings' there are periods where you struggle and battle through and this was no different. There was a period of the game between drinks and lunch when I didn't actually score a run and I was getting quite frustrated. I got to lunch and gathered myself and just started again. After lunch I was able to gain a bit of momentum and went into tea on 84 and we were 4-250. From then on I thought I could chance my arm a bit and take a few more calculated risks as we had plenty left in the sheds, luckily it came off. I had excellent support from Jarrod Martignago and Tom Tudor who both batted beautifully. Walking off the field knowing the side was in a strong position to potentially win the game and get six points was very pleasing.

AG: Did you feel pretty comfortable throughout the knock, or were there a few nervy moments early on, in the 90s and then the 190s?

EK: Overall I felt pretty comfortable as I knew we batted all the way down to nine or 10, so I was able to play with a bit of freedom. In terms of nervy moments approaching milestones, not really. I was lucky enough to have Tom Tudor down the other end for a fair chunk of the innings and he's quite a laid back and level-headed guy so he kept me in check and made sure I kept my mind on the job. There was a big LBW shout, as well as Tommy getting run out when I was on 199 attempting to scurry through for a run. He unfortunately just fell short so I probably owe him a drink or two for that.

AG: How many tons have you managed at Premier level? I presume this will have been your favourite?

EK: I've only managed four Premier Cricket hundreds, so they've been few and far between. The weekend's performance was probably a favourite for a few reasons, but mainly because as a club we've emphasised the importance of going big when you get in as a batsmen and Keels (Antony Keely) has really put it on the batsmen post-Christmas in the second XI to step up and not only get 100s but get big ones. Keels led the way earlier in the year with an excellent 160 odd against Prahran, so it was pleasing to follow his lead.

AG: On a day that started tough for the batsmen, the team must have been delighted to post over 400? How strong a position are you going into day two this weekend?

EK: We knew when we got sent into bat that the first hour wasn't going to be easy. But Robbie Phelan and Matt Mitchell did a good job at the top and set it up nicely for the middle order. Wickets in hand at tea was the key and at 4-250, we knew we had a good platform to really launch and post a good total. Heading into day two we are obviously in a pretty good position, but we are under no illusion that we've got a pretty big job ahead of us to take 10 wickets.

AG: On a personal level, how much confidence does this knock give you heading into the final few months of the season?

EK: It certainly gives me confidence heading into the finals series, but overall I think the confidence within the whole group couldn't be higher and that is the main priority and most important thing at this stage of the season. The fact we have 100 per cent confidence in one another to perform on the day has allowed us the freedom to go out on a weekend and just play cricket, and most of all just enjoy it. Fun and enjoyment has been a key focus for us in the 2nd XI, and it has shown in the way we have performed this season and the way we have gone about our cricket.

AG: It's been a wonderful campaign so far for the twos, threes and fours. How important is it to follow that start through until the final game in March?

EK: No doubt. The feeling around the club at the moment is great and having three out of four sides well and truly in the hunt at the pointy-end of the season is definitely exciting. We are well aware that we still have some work to do, but we are confident that we can continue to build on the momentum we've gathered so far and hopefully go deep into March.

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Celebration for Mary Dodgson to be held in the Pavilion at Unimelb on Tuesday 11th of July from 6-9pm. Please contact MUCC if attending.

by Melbourne Uni CC