Bat and ball, Axel does it all for United

MAN of the match performances don’t come much more comprehensive than that of United’s Alexander Collins in the Emu Valley Cricket Association over the past fortnight.

All-rounder Collins, nicknamed Axel, completed a stunning double of making 158 with the bat and taking 6-33 off 23.1 overs with the ball in the Tigers’ 124-run win over Emu Creek.

Collins’ six-for on day one of the game on October 13 included the scalps of Emu Creek’s opening batsmen Darren Chamberlain and Brad Rowe, plus No.3 Shaun Cattanach.

“I hadn’t done a whole lot of training leading into the season. I just tried to bowl reasonable lines and get the ball moving away a bit,” Collins said yesterday.

“I don’t bowl super quick or anything like that, but if I can bowl consistently and get the odd one to move away, that’s my go.”

With Collins’ 6-33 helping to dismiss Emu Creek for 212, last Saturday the Tigers answered with 6-336, with the cornerstone of the innings a 261-run partnership for the second wicket between Collins and Mick Webb (82).

Collins cashed in on an early chance after he was caught behind off a no-ball bowled by Lucas Ruiden while on just two.

“I don’t normally have that sort of luck when I’m batting, so it was nice to take advantage of it,” Collins said.

“I batted fairly scratchy early and was only on 52 at afternoon tea.

“I tried to play myself into some sort of form early, and then after tea we put the foot down a bit.

“Mick Webb batted really well with me in making his 82.”

Having previously played with Bridgewater – where he has a highest score of 180 – this is Collins’ third year with United, with last Saturday his second century for the Tigers after he made 153 against West Bendigo in round 11 last season. Collins spent his first two years at United as captain, but has this season handed the reins over to Forbes Klemm.

United – beaten by Mandurang in last season’s grand final – hosts Golden Gully at Ewing Park in round three of the EVCA starting this Saturday.

After finishing second-last on the ladder last season, Golden Gully made an encouraging start to its 2012-13 campaign with a win over perennial power Spring Gully last weekend.

“It looks as though Mandurang is going to be the side to beat and Spring Gully no doubt will be strong, but apart from that, it looks fairly even this year,” Collins said.

“Golden Gully coming out and beating Spring Gully last week was obviously a good effort and, no doubt, we’ll have to play well to beat them.”

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