Final-ball thriller in Galle

Final-ball thriller in Galle

Sydney University has been eliminated from the 2017 Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament overnight after a gripping, fluctuating semi-final in Galle.

After winning the toss, University invited the home-side favourites, Sri Lanka's Business Management School, to bat first.  Sydney's pace attack has been a distinct strength in this year's Red Bull campaign, and Joe Kershaw broke through in his first over, when he jagged a ball back off the seam and bowled opener Manoj Sarathchandra.  BMS was 2 for 3 when Hayden Kerr plucked out Lahiru Milantha's middle stump with the first ball of the second over.  In the fourth over of the innings, Hashan Dumindu top-edged a hook at Kerr through to keeper Sam Brandwood, and Brandwood was back in the action when Kieran Elley lured BMS captain Dinuk Wikramanayake into a loose drive from the first ball of the net over.  After 4.1 overs, BMS was deep in trouble at 4 for 14.

But every member of the BMS side is an experienced first-class cricketer, and Sri Lanka A all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne and Supeshala Jayathilaka rebuilt the innings with a brisk stand of 54.  Kershaw returned to end the partnership when Karunaratne heaved the ball to Henry Hunt at mid-wicket, but Tilaksha Sumanasiri then played a vital innings, cracking an unbeaten 40 from only 22 balls.  Kerr (2-19), Kershaw (2-22) and Elley (2-29) bowled exceptionally well, but the BMS total of 6 for 163 was a tough one to chase.

Left arm spinner Amila Aponso, who has played several One Day Internationals for Sri Lanka, opened the attack with a tidy over that allowed only three runs.  But Hayden Kerr attacked seamer Vikum Sanjaya in the next over, whipping the first ball over mid-wicket to the fence, swatting the fourth high over mid-off for another boundary, and swinging the last ball over long-on for six.  Kerr plundered another six and three boundaries from left-armer Jayathilaka's first over, and brought up a blistering half-century from only 25 balls in the sixth over of the innings.  Kerr welcomed seamer Karunaratne into the attack with a fierce square drive for 4, but edged the next ball to the keeper, after hitting 54 from 27 balls.

The Sri Lankan bowlers worked their way back into the game with some tight middle overs, and when Henry Hunt fell for 18, Sydney was 5 for 105, needing 59 runs from 29 balls.  But there was another twist to come, as Joe Kershaw and Will Lawrance added 48 runs from the next 4.1 overs.   Kershaw in particular hit powerfully and selectively, cracking two sixes.  University needed 13 from the last over, bowled by the experienced Karumaratne.  Lawrance cracked the first ball for a single, but was run out backing up from the next (a wide).  Kershaw's bunt to cover produced overthrows and a misfield, and yielded three runs; now eight runs were needed from four balls.  But Karunaratne recovered his nerve, and bowled a series of rapid yorkers.  Four runs were needed from the final delivery, but Karunaratne produced another pinpoint yorker, and BMS claimed victory in a dramatic finish.

Sydney University leaves the competition, but can take pride in a hard-fought campaign, and in playing a full part in the most memorable match of the tournament,

Sydney University faces a tough semi-final in Galle

Sydney University faces a tough semi-final in Galle

Sydney University has advanced to the semi-finals of the Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament in Sri Lanka, where it meets the home team, and competition favourites, at Galle this afternoon.

Sri Lanka's Business Management School won all three of its Group B matches earlier this week.  Every member of the BMS team is an experienced domestic first-class cricketer, and orthodox left arm spinner Amila Aponso has represented Sri Lanka in 6 One Day Internationals.  He made his international debut against Australia at Colombo in August last year, when he bowled his ten overs for only 27 runs and dismissed the dangerous Aaron Finch.  In his three Red Bull finals matches, he has captured five wickets while allowing only 43 runs from his eleven overs.  Opening bowler Chamika Karunaratne, who has also shown good form, has represented Sri Lanka at Under-23 and A team level.

On paper, Sydney University may not appear as strong as the home side, but the team has improved steadily through the competition and has the benefit of having come through the tougher side of the draw.  Hayden Kerr's blistering 73 against South Africa was the highest individual score by any player in the preliminary rounds, and Dugald Holloway, Joe Kershaw and Kieran Elley have formed the competition's most hostile pace attack.  Every member of the Sydney University side has made a telling contribution at some stage during the preliminary rounds.

Galle International Stadium is one of the most scenic and striking Test grounds anywhere in the world.  It's a fitting setting for what promises to be an enthralling match.

You can follow the semi-final (scores and streaming) live here later this evening:

Sydney Uni vs UNSW

Sydney Uni vs UNSW

The final practice match  in preparation for the 2017-18 season will take place this weekend on Saturday 16th September against UNSW. With a significant player turnover following last season, the 2017-18 pre-season has seen all players working hard to secure a position heading into the opening round of the NSW Premier Cricket competition commencing on Saturday 23rd September.  

Information regarding both matches is listed below:

Lower Grades vs UNSW 
St Paul's Oval
9:30am start, 50 over match

K Jacob

J Hill

E Arnott

A Shaw

R Danne

J Robertson

A Cowan

A Robinson

J Toyer

B Barge

A Peek

1st Grade vs UNSW 
David Phillips (South)
9:30am start, 50 over match

T Cummins

J Larkin

D Mortimer

L Robertson (c)

B Trevor-Jones

D Visser

L Bedford

L Neil-Smith

J Craig-Dobson

K Tate

L Whitaker

Unfortunately there will be no canteen facilities available at either ground. There will also be no parking available at St Paul's College, so please take this into consideration when travelling to the ground. 

Reminder that anyone not in these games can attend training at the indoor centre from 2:00pm - 4:30pm and we would love to see a few guys back at The Nag's Head for some social beverages afterwards. 

We wish all of the players the best of luck this weekend!

Alex Blackwell joins the Sydney University CC Board

Alex Blackwell joins the Sydney University CC Board

Sydney University Cricket Club is delighted to announce the appointment of Alex Blackwell to the club's Board.

Alex has represented the Australian Women's team since 2003, when she first appeared in both Test cricket and One Day Internationals.  She has played 11 Tests for Australia, as well as 141 ODIs and 95 International T20s.  She was outstanding in the recent Women's World Cup in England, striking a ferocious 90 from only 56 balls in the semi-final against India.  Apart from her commitments with Australia and New South Wales, Alex has been a highly valued member of the Universities Women's Cricket Club for many years.

SUCC Chairman, Max Bonnell, says: "We are delighted that a cricketer of Alex's experience and insight will be contributing to the Board.  Alex shares our club's goals to match high performance with an environment in which we can develop good people.  Her input will be valuable across a whole range of issues, and we are especially looking forward to her helping us to align ourselves more closely with the Universities Women's Cricket Club."

Sydney University storms into world semi-finals

Sydney University storms into world semi-finals

Sydney University has reached the semi-finals of the Red Bull Campus Cricket tournament for the first time, with a victory over India's Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Commerce in Colombo.

Sydney University was given a positive start by Hayden Kerr and Jack Holloway, who took 18 runs from the first three overs of the innings.  But both openers fell within four deliveries, and it was left to Henry Hunt and Nicky Craze to rebuild the innings.  The left-handed Craze was particularly impressive, manipulating the ball into the gaps from the slow bowlers, and repeatedly ramping the seamers to the unguarded areas of the field behind the wicket.  He hit four boundaries in his 30 from 24 balls.  Tight and skilful bowling kept MMMCC in the game, and after 13.1 overs, Sydney was in trouble at five for 74.  Joe Kershaw responded with a forthright innings, pulling fiercely at anything short of a length, and he was well supported by Will Lawrance.  Sydney waited until the 19th over to use its Energizer Over (in which every run scored is matched by a penalty run), and Kershaw's second big six ensured that University added 22 to its total at a vital stage.  Three wickets fell in a chaotic final over, but a couple of late blows from Devlin Malone gave Sydney the competitive total of 8 for 136.

Sydney's new-ball combination, Kershaw and Kerr, has been outstanding in the competition, and again they caused their opponents plenty of trouble early on.  Each bowler took a wicket in his first over, and Kershaw was on a hat trick in the third over of the innings when he had Dhanraj Shinde and Vaibhav Mali caught from successive deliveries.  At 4 for 12 in three overs, the Indians were deep in trouble, and Dugald Holloway collected the fifth wicket in his first over of the innings.  In a tactically shrewd move, MMMCC claimed the Energizer Over early, and cashed in: the 15 runs taken from the eighth over of the innings doubled in value, so that (at 5 for 59) the batting side was well ahead of its required run rate.  Azam Khan and Gouraw Chitkara both batted positively, and the pressure was now applied to Sydney University.  Kieran Elley entered the game, making his first appearance of the tournament, and Azam hoisted his fifth delivery over mid-wicket for six.  But the next ball rattled the off stump, and Elley produced an exceptional spell: fast, accurate and intelligent.  From his last 19 balls, he claimed three wickets while allowing only eight runs.  The Indian lower order had no answer to University's pace attack, nudging singles when boundaries were needed.  Jack Holloway took the ball for the final over, hitting Alam Badrey in the midriff.  The batsman looked for a single as the ball trickled onto the on side, and Holloway completed a comical run out when he aimed a soccer kick and the ball, missed, and then realised he had time to gather the ball and knock off the bails at the striker's end.  The next delivery was edged to keeper Sam Brandwood and Sydney completed a 22-run victory.

Joe Kershaw was outstanding, with 27 from 23 balls and 3-16 from four overs.  Sydney's victory gives it second place in Group A.  The team now meets the powerful, unbeaten Sri Lankan side at Galle International Stadium on Friday.

Sydney University wins in Colombo

Sydney University wins in Colombo

After a close loss to the powerful South African combination on Sunday, Sydney University was playing to stay alive in the Red Bull Campus Cricket Finals in Sri Lanka when it faced Pakistan's Jinnah Government College today.

University captain Jack Holloway won the toss and gave JGC first use of a pitch that helped all the bowlers throughout the day.  Sydney's Joe Kershaw was the first to exploit it, removing Mohammed Alam with the fifth ball of the innings and completing a rare wicket maiden.  Left armer Hayden Kerr allowed only a single from his first over, and the Pakistani top order struggled to get the ball off the square in the opening overs.  Kershaw completed his four overs in a single spell, allowing only five runs.  Kerr struck twice, bowling Arsalan Bashir and holding a return catch from Zubair Dilawar.  When Dugald Holloway broke through with only his second delivery, JGC had lost four for 19 in 7.2 overs.

Holloway struck again in his second over, leaving JGC reeling at five for 27.  But the Pakistanis batted deep, and University's bowlers let them back into the game with a generous helping of 13 wides.  Wicket-keeper Faizan Khan and all-rounder Fahaddis Bukhari added 59 in 7.1 overs, despite some probing bowling by Devlin Malone.  Malone broke the stand when he removed Faizan, but JGC made good use of the Energizer Over (in which each run scored is matched by a penalty run), adding 26 to the score.  Dugald Holloway returned to bowl an exceptional final over, allowing only one run and taking wickets with his last two deliveries.  His 4-16 was exceptional and confined JGC to 8 for 122 - a highly competitive score in the circumstances.

Sydney University began steadily, but when Hayden Kerr fell in the third over, it was clear that the chase would not be easy.  Jack Holloway and Henry Hunt carried the score to 30 before Holloway fell in the seventh over, and University's middle order found it hard to score at the required rate. The Pakistani spinners turned the screws on the Sydney middle order, and when Dugald Holloway was run out in the 15th over, University was 6-59.  The position seemed hopeless, but Charles Litchfield had taken time to adjust to the pitch, and Joe Kershaw joined him in a positive mood. 

With three overs remaining, University still needed 43 runs: but the Energizer Over was still available.  Muhammad Salman allowed only nine runs (doubled to 18) - a great result for JGC, which left Sydney still needing 25 from 12 balls.  Litchfield took on Pakistan Under-19 international, Hasan Mohsin, blasting boundaries from the second and third balls of the 19th over, before he fell for a crucial 37 from 31 balls.  The skied catch gave the strike to Kershaw, who launched the next delivery out of the ground. 

Ten were needed from the last over.  A single to Kershaw gave the strike to keeper Sam Brandwood, who brought the match to a close by clubbing 2, 6 and 4 from the three deliveries he faced.  University, down and out with 30 balls remaining, stormed home by three wickets.  Dugald Holloway was named Man of the Match.

Full scores are here:

Sydney University faces MMCC, Pune, tomorrow, playing for a semi-final place.