Melbourne Cricket Club defeated Marylebone Cricket Club by 24 runs in their New Year's Eve clash at the MCG.
In what has become a traditional clash at the end of the Lord's Test and Boxing Day Test in each Ashes cycle since its inception in 1993, the two MCCs came together for what is always a friendly yet competitive match between two of the world's oldest cricket clubs.
Marylebone CC was led by John Stephenson, Head of Cricket at Lord’s, and a 300-game first-class player who also played a Test match for England. His team comprised Marylebone members independently travelling to Australia and members who reside here.
A picture-perfect day welcomed the players for their 50-over a side match. Melbourne CC captain Matthew Brown won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first.
Darcy Daly got out to a smart catch early and fellow opener Will Pucovski (56) was joined by Lincoln Edwards (39) to settle the innings down. Edwards departed with the score on 2/78 when Brown joined Pucovski and added scoring impetus to the innings, making 44 off 49 balls.
Sam Harper was unfortunately trapped in front early, which allowed Jack Paynter (38 ) to spend time holding the middle order together. Aaron Boyle (23) made a handy contribution and Tristan Larter struck a couple of nice boundaries as Melbourne finished on 8/245.
In defending a competitive but by no means daunting target, Simon O’Brien from Camberwell Magpies opened the attack with Aaron Boyle. Boyle captured an early wicket and O'Brien claimed one in his second spell.
Jeremy Hart removed the other dangerous Marylebone opener and fellow leg-spinner Larter took the next with Marylebone 3/116 in the 27th over.
Jack Paynter (4/40 off 10) bowled tightly whilst getting timely breakthroughs, including Marylebone top scorer Ed Kilbee (who plays first grade with Subiaco Floreat in Perth), who threatened to take control of the game and the Marylebone skipper as he was getting on top.
The visitors kept chasing hard but it was Shane Giese that took the final wicket with Melbourne having a 24-run margin up its sleeve with seven balls remaining.
Melbourne CC 8/245cc (50 overs)
W Pucovski 56, M Brown 44, L Edwards 39, J Paynter 38, A Boyle 23
Marylebone CC 221 (48.5 overs)
J Paynter 4/40