The power of the people has come to the fore. In one of the early editions of Tyler’s Top Ten, some social media comments surfaced on how Steven Spoljaric could fill the ‘best individual seasons’ on his own. So the GAZETTE has gone through the numbers – there’s a lot of them – and come up with a sensational list of season’s from the great all-rounder…
1. Cranbourne (DDCA 2014/15): New club, no worries. A lazy year with 711 runs @ 79, and 33 wickets @ 13.12 gets the job done for his third Wookey in four years here. Spolly bowled okay In R4 against Lyndale, finishing with match figures of: 41 overs, 21 maidens, 11/59.
2. Kingston Hawthorn – Formerly known as Hawthorn Monash (VPC 2007/08): One of the finer Premier Cricket seasons of all-time. He started like a house on fire; including all cricket (twenty-20s), ‘Spolly’ had 531 runs and 20 wickets BEFORE the Christmas break. In this season, he won the prestigious Jack Ryder Medal with: 579 runs @ 34.06, 35 wickets @ 25.37 and to cap it off… he took 16 catches. It’s almost insulting how good this guy is at cricket.
3. Cranbourne (DDCA 2015/16): What’s better than six Wookey Medals? Seven Wookey Medals! The gun all-rounder belted 578 runs @ 57.80 with the bat and sent back 37 batters @ 9.11 and didn’t win the league medal. Teammate Matt Chasemore won the award with 561 runs @ 46.80 and 19 wickets @ 15.90. Genuine robbery.
4. Parkfield (DDCA 2010/11): His first Wookey Medal season almost gets forgotten… probably because he only made 757 runs @ 94.63, passed 50 in seven of his 11 knocks and only took 17 wickets @ 15.65.
5. Parkfield (DDCA 2013/14): All these seasons are a bit silly in terms of pure dominance, but his last season at Parkfield is certainly up there for ultimate mickey taking. Just a laconic 672 runs @ 67.20 with the stick and 27 scalps @ 13.26 with the ball. This season was highlighted by a R11 performance where Spolly bowled for 33.5 overs, 14 maidens, 6/54. A spell that was complimented nicely by his 42 not out in the second dig.
6. Cranbourne (DDCA 2016/17): After one of the bigger robberies in Wookey Medal history the year before, Spoljaric found his rightful place back at the top of the mountain. The return was done with 681 runs @ 85.13 and 25 wickets @ 18.40.
7. Parkfield (DDCA 2011/12): Another fine all-round season, left a bit in the tank with the bat by his standards, averaging below 50. But he made up for it with the ball. 490 runs @ 49 with the willow, and 26 wickets @ 12.54 with the Kookaburra. If this is not even in your top five, three, or one best seasons as a player, you’re simply really, really good at cricket.
8. Springvale South (DDCA 2017/18): Sometimes league medals are all about timing your run. In a similar year to the most recent Wookey Medal winner – Ruwantha Kellepotha – Spoljaric scored 457 runs @ 45.70 and collected 26 wickets @ 10.62. But Spolly didn’t win. Kellepotha won the award last year – albeit in a one day season making it all the more impressive – with 353 runs and 35 wickets, reaching the league record for votes. Two remarkable seasons for the journeyman, in ‘17/18 and ‘15/16, both without league medals.
9. Springvale South (DDCA 2018/19): Business as usual for Spolly at the Bloods. But in this season, he didn’t bowl as much as previous years. However, what he left behind with the ball, he certainly made up for with the bat. 752 runs @ 50.13 with eight scores over 50. Just seven wickets for the year with the ball, with three coming in one innings. Like previous years, he launched out of the gates, entering the Christmas break with 457 runs to his name.
10. Bundalaguah (Sale-Maffra CA 2019/20): Continuing the trend of setting the tone at his new club, Spolly made his mark pretty early out in the country. 576 @ 44.31 in his first season with the bat, complimented by 29 wickets @ 12. 28 with the ball. It’s a pretty easy game for the nearly 45-year-old.