The Monash University Varsity cricket team exacted revenge on archrivals Melbourne University earlier this week, recording a convincing six-wicket win.
Heading over to enemy territory on Monday evening, it was clear the Monash T20 side was on their game from the first ball of the innings.
Melbourne batted first, yet four Monash bowlers got in the wickets to restrict the home side to 139 for the loss of seven wickets.
From then on, the result was in little doubt. Captain Ary Bhardwaj got his team off to a flying start with a quickfire 43 runs off just 22 balls bat in hand and Monash cruised to the target inside 16 overs.
For Ary – who captained last year’s Varsity team – the win was made sweeter in the knowledge they’d achieved redemption over Melbourne University.
“(Last year) they absolutely smashed us, it was demoralising. It wasn’t a fun place to be at, playing that game,” he says.
“(We had) a pretty similar group to last year, not many changes but the core group stayed the same.
“We all wanted to win, we all wanted to get revenge for last year. It’s one of the biggest cricket rivals, varsity games.
“After each wicket, after each run, we celebrated just that little bit more because it meant more to us, we were playing with a vengeance.”
There were joyous celebrations in the aftermath for the team, who Ary says are all close friends off the field.
Given it’s a win a year in the making with a similar team, it’s only fitting that it was enjoyed amongst friends.
“We’re all good mates off the field as well which builds comradery. Playing just a few games each year means that much more… I’m just very happy that we got it done and got it done together,” Ary adds. “It’s a great team to be around.”
Now, Ari and co have quickly set their sights on a rematch later this year.
“There’s Uni Nationals towards the end of the year. Last year we didn’t get a team up… after the Varsity match we were really down,” Ari continues.
“But we’ve already started talking about Uni Nationals, how we’re going to get there, how the team is going to look there.
“Morale is high, we’re all up and about, we’re all looking forward to it and taking on Melbourne up there as well, we’ll beat them again.”
This year's Cricket Uni Nationals will be in Adelaide in October/November. Stay tuned here.
The Monash Varsity cricket team will hold trials later this year in preparation. But for now, it’s time to bask in the winning glow as vengeance is conquered.