First Grade turned up to Pratten Park and looked to build on the momentum of the first two rounds. Captain Nick Larkin won the toss and chose to bat. Nick and opening partner Ben Trevor Jones put their heads down and made the most of the early conditions. Despite a strong spell from leg-spinner and middle tier roommate Jonathan Cook, Uni cruised to lunch wicketless and scoring at a tick over threes.
The middle session saw the dismissal of Nick Larkin for 53 in unfortunate circumstances: caught off a long hop by the shirt and body of short leg. This sparked a collapse where Cook removed Trevor-Jones, Mortimer, and Jum Larkin in relatively quick succession. Cummins and Kerr steadied the innings before Kerr hit one straight to cover. And so tea arrived and Uni was in a spot of bother.
Second gamer McElduff and Cummins were given orders to accelerate the innings post tea and the intent was obvious as the smaller McElduff began to work the ball around and Cummins bludgeoned some boundaries. A nick behind spelt the end of a good innings from Cummins for 43, bringing the swash-buckling Joe Kershaw to the crease. Kershaw swung hard with immediate effect, hitting one particular six which cleared the boundary by at least 40 meters. Larkin signalled an intention to declare and McElduff hit out for 34. Holloway was run out on the last ball before the declaration, a victim of Kershaw’s desire for red ink.
Uni’s six overs at the end of play were fruitless. Hard toil and good length will be the order of day 2.
Sydney Uni 8-257:
N Larkin 53
B Trevor-Jones 48
TP Cummins 43
A dreary day threatened as University 2nd grade rolled into the home of cricket, University Oval, on Saturday morning. The ‘good overhead conditions’ proving all too exciting for Dibbly-Dobson well before 9:30am as he began and then continued to carry on an absolute treat well into the day. Old duly won Nash in an esteemed performance, never really out of 2nd gear; experience showed.
Good toss to lose it seemed, with plenty of green over the top of a lovely, hard track. One over in it would have been a good toss to win, with the wet outfield giving the Kookaburra some trouble and with less sideways movement on offer than the Students had hoped.
The pacemen kept at it though, and as the seam dried out, things somewhat started to happen for us. The Birdman trapped Sam McMahon in front before our namesake equivalent set about grabbing the Wests’ 3 and 4 for not many each to have us in control in and around drinks. Neil-Smith came to the party in a lively spell before lunch to reduce Wests to 5 down heading into the main break.
After lunch, the Wests tail didn’t offer much resistance, as Jack Holloway got in on the act to leave wickets shared and Wests dismissed for 152. Liam Whitaker’s 14 overs for 19 should not be left unmentioned. Also rating a mention are the 5 snares with the big hands – albeit regulation – taken by returning Keeper’s Union member Alex Shaw who was heard making muffled comments about the comparison of the keeping highlights package compared to Timmy Cummins’ last week.
Openers Holloway and Lynchfield moved the University innings along nicely from the outset, until a tight handful of overs broke through Litchie’s defences as he finally played at the wrong one of three balls he was seeing. The Bald Man Hobson strode to the crease to continue the chase with Holloway, both of whom brought up their half-centuries before the close of play to have Uni in a strong position at 1/135, 18 short of the required total for 6 points. Plenty to play for this Saturday.
Sydney Uni 1-135:
S Hobson 66*
J Holloway 55*
L Neil-Smith 3-23
L McMahon 3-42
J Craig-Dobson 2-32
J Holloway 2-35
Day 1 and it was the first away game of the season at Blick Oval. Michael Robbo the standout attendee managing to arrive well before the scheduled arrival time to avoid 4 back-to-back cases. Jack Lawso however wasn’t as fortunate, and this means we are well sorted for the next couple of rounds.
Nashball was an interesting affair, with the youth stepping up their pregame banter and this seemed to indicate some improved form. Of course that wasn’t the case, and highlights of the absolute pumping handed out by Old were Kev Jacob’s ineffectual play,Danno’s exasperation and blow ups at said ineffectual play, and Robbo both giving a penalty away for saving a ball on the turf, and also doing a drop-punt from his goal square. Trust the process.
At any rate I was faced with another 50/50 coin toss, and after the charade was acted out the Wests skipper informed me that we were to bat first. Danno and Duffman (aka J Hill) strode out and from the outset there was plenty of seam movement on a hard and grassy surface. The bowler friendly conditions and disciplined bowling from Wests made scoring tough early on, however Danno and Kev Jacob both applied themselves excellently and got us off to a decent start. The game slipped back in favour of the opposition after a few wickets in short order, but Jim Ryan smoked an excellent 45 (incl M Horns) later in the day to help us post a somewhat below-par but respectable and defendable total.
The day really belonged to Matt Powys; who looked like he was just playing a different game to the rest of us. He made scoring look ridiculously easy at times and it was a great shame that he couldn’t quite get to the 100 that he so richly deserved. Excellent batting all around the ground, and most of the deliveries that he faced found their way to the middle of his blade. It really was a pleasure to watch.
After getting bowled out we were faced with a 12 over spell where we hoped to take a couple of scalps, but alas it wasn’t to be. Aggressive batting from the Wests opener meant that the Magpies find themselves in the box seat for next week, however we remain quietly confident of reversing the tide and picking up the 6 points.
Sydney Uni 244:
M Powys 91
J Ryan 45
K Jacob 39
R Danne 26
Overcast skies and forecasts for showers greeted Sydney Uni at Kensington Oval. A light pre-nash shower made for a slippery affair with those who actually had tread on the bottom of their shoes running the play; after some truly atrocious ball handling and an attritional affair of grubber kicks the nuffys eventually got over the line for their first win of the year.
Wests won the toss and duly elected to have a bowl and make the most of any early movement on offer. McElduff and Dilley set about their work patiently and it was McElduff who looked to take the aggressor role until he was unfortunate to chop on. Thompson got in and got out, leaving Galvin and Dilley to tick the score along. Galvin was well into his flow and was threatening to go through the gears before he was undone leaving the game very much in the balance. Farrow joined Dilley and was quickly into his work, tucking into anything short from the spinner. Dilley rode his luck but was sure to stick to his game plan, leaving anything wide, and helping anything straight on its way whilst continuing to rotate. His 50 was well deserved and took the boys into what can only be described as an absolute train wreck of an arvo tea due to limited kitchen facilities. Therefore, a few rogue members of the side decided to take the high-risk, high-reward strategy of a subway mid-match. Rumour has it a certain julio may have kindled a little something with the Subway staff, more details next week.
Thankfully Dilley and Farrow hadn’t lost their appetite for runs and were into their work again before the latter can feel aggrieved to have been judged lbw shortly after the break. With the game in the balance, skipper Grant strode out to the crease still slightly upset about the lack of food at halfway. After riding out some initial pressure, Dilley was next to go; castled by a yorker after a very well made 76. AJ and Storey went about their business, ticking the scoreboard over at a steady rate. Storey made the most of some 9-0 fields before one too many flicks to the legside saw him adjudged LBW. AJ was now past 50 and well and truly into his stride; finding the fence regularly as well as clearing it with apparent ease. Robbie Browne came and went and can feel very hard done by after having to replace his divot after being given out caught behind. With Aidan Peek now at the other end and finding the gaps regularly, AJ was well supported; the boys were clearly pushing the rate up and moving the game forwards. The skipper’s ton was well received and just reward for a bludgeoning, brutal innings showcasing his ability to hit straight and square with equal skill.
Eventually AJ pulled the pin on the innings at 7/304 leaving Wests with 4 very tricky overs to negotiate after a long day in the field. Peak and Barge again opened up and the combination worked once more as Barge produced an absolute beauty to clip the top of the off stump and to ruin a weekend in the process, Sydney Uni were fired up and in the hunt for more before some whiffy opposition chat regarding the state of overhead conditions cut short the mood and curtailed Billy’s hopes for another. Peak and Browne closed the day out at 1/5 leaving Sydney Uni in a very strong position heading into Week 2 and looking to make it 3 out of 3.
Sydney Uni 7-304 (dec):
The 5th grade unit was looking to improve on their results in the season thus far and travelled to Punchbowl oval with a spirit not dampened by the adverse weather forecast. The Olds put their younger counterparts to shame in Nashball running up a 10-1 lead on the back of scrambling defence and agile counterattacking.
Tails failed the skipper for the first time this season and the students were given the ball in overcast conditions but on a wicket that was hard and flat. Murray Miles was the first to strike, knocking off stump out of the ground as the batsman failed to offer a shot. Regular wickets continued to fall and Wests were reduced to 7-75. The home team then consolidated and added 58 for the next wicket before Sameer Murthy effected a runout to swing the momentum back to the fielders. The tail wrapped up shortly after and we are chasing 152 for victory.
Alex Bell is the standout batsman so far on 50* hitting over and through the field with ease. Nick Mortimer, like his brother last season, had to wait a few extra rounds before scoring his first runs for the club. Unlike his brother, Mortimer Jnr was unable to convert to a century and had also been coming off consecutive ducks. I’m sure the Primary Club will welcome his contributions over the course of the season. Wickets fell with the introduction of spin and at 5-87 we still have plenty left to do if we are to secure our first win of the season.
Sydney Uni 5-87:
A Bell 50*
B Chunduri 14
M Miles 3-39
TJ Draca 2-12
Z Islam 2-28
Sydney Uni 7-203:
B Chunduri 64
M Veltro 26
J Aylward 25
J Rinka 3-29
M Shanahan 2-35
Sydney Uni Lions
Fresh off a round 1 victory, the mighty Sydney Uni Lions took to the field at Concord to face the Reg Bartley XI. Sent into field on a batting friendly outfield, the Lion’s openers bowled tight lines. Prasan Adikarige especially asking questions of the batsmen with a probing line and length. An early wicket proved elusive until his patience was rewarded with the wicket of an opener willing to throw his hands at anything outside off. A stubborn partnership then ensued with the Lion’s looking to stem the early flow of runs. Oliver Ottoson, facing an aggressive pair, held his nerve and his lines to gradually starve the batsmen of runs, earning a valuable wicket in the process. This only served to strengthen the batsman’s resolve to hit boundaries. After some costly bowling from Rahman, Mohammed Ghumman took the ball in hand to take four valuable wickets with some precision pace bowling in what was to be a Man of the Match performance that onlookers could only describe as herculean. Despite a valiant effort in the field, the Lions faced a sizable 192 for victory.
The chase started poorly with both openers dismissed cheaply. This however, only provided Ghumman with a grander stage to display his batting prowess. Sleepless nights be damned, Ghumman had been waiting all week to belt the red pill and was not to be denied. All he needed was Lions allies to hold up the other end. Assistance was provided by future talent Nick Bowman, batting patiently for a valuable 14. At the other end, Ghumman connected with anything short to send the ball to the fence on both leg side and off, including an especially lusty blow through long on. With the run rate climbing captain Paul Moorhouse bravely combined with Ghumman to earn runs when the team needed him most. Some calculated hitting from Moorehouse (34) with Ghumman’s ability to find the ropes brought the Lions back into contention. Alas the dangerous partnership was broken, halting progress. When Ghumman’s heroic innings ended on 72 chances of a well-earned victory appeared to take a fatal hit. However some errant bowling and valuable lower order runs from Ottosen and Adikarage brought the Lions agonizingly close to victory. At end of 35 overs, the Lions stood at 7/187, 5 runs short in a brave chase.