Sydney University 8/296 (D Mortimer 85, H Kerr 42, B Trevor-Jones 41, B Martin 6/89) Defeated Parramatta 10/130 (W Affleck 29, D Malone 3/47, A May 2/5)
On Saturday, the top six won Nashball. Correlation and causation are clearly not the same thing, but neither Larkin nor Cowan were playing.
University won the toss and elected to bat first on a flat, if slightly slower than normal surface at No. 1. The tone for the whole day was set early, the Parramatta bowlers giving little away and the Uni batsmen forced to work hard for their runs. BTJ (41) ground out a platform at the top of the order and Mortimer (85) showed patience and temperament to get us to a competitive total. There were cameos from others, none more impressive than the partnership between Hayden Kerr (41no) and Devlin Malone (34) that frustrated the visitors and pushed us to a very defendable 8/296. The man with the third highest strike rate in the competition was not needed with the bat.
The man with the third highest batting strike rate in the competition got us away to a great start with the ball, cleverly disguising a threatening delivery as a medium pace half volley. Not satisfied with gifting us one free wicket, Parramatta set about trying to run out their entire top order. The first run out was one of the more bizarre in recent memory, when the striker appeared to misinterpret his own call of "Yes" and not leave his ground. He then was embroiled in a conversation with his Captain, who by this stage was standing next to him, about who should leave the safety of the crease. Having refused to budge, and run himself out ten minutes later, one suspects he may have another conversation with the skipper after Thursday night's selection meeting.
The bowlers shared the work around in the heat, and we were very happy to finish a little early with the six points.
Sydney University 10/160 (J Kershaw 40, A Shaw 26, J Crowley 20, J Dempsey 2/6, C White 2/19) Defeated by Parramatta 4/161 (T Bar 50, A Talwar 34, J Holloway 1/18, L McMahon 1/27)
In a fixture pitting two sides on the precipice of the top 6 against one another, it was a day to forget for the Students with highlights largely limited to a dominant Old Nash performance.
Stand in Skipper Holloway called incorrectly in what proved to be a decisive toss and we were quickly asked to bat on what was a slightly underprepared wicket. Four early scalps meant we were always behind the game. It was only dogged efforts from Shaw, Crowley and Kershaw which gave us a glimmer of hope, 160 on the board.
The bowling was disciplined but the Parramatta openers watchfully saw off the new ball and with the sun now blazing, conditions for batting were constantly improving. Despite a gutsy effort in the trying fielding conditions, 160 proved not enough as Parramatta knocked off the runs 4 down.
The loss means the last three rounds are must wins if 2s are to stand any chance of finals cricket.
Sydney University 6/227 (B Larkin 64, R Danne 40, T Kierath 34) Defeated Parramatta 9/192 (H King 54, Y Brown 43, T Kierath 3/20, K Tate 3/38)
Third grade hosted Parramatta at St. Paul’s with a very experienced side and looked to continue its push towards the minor premiership.
The covers were pulled off to reveal a hard wicket that was a little sticky on top due to the recent humid weather. Parramatta won the toss and elected to bowl.
Tom ‘Two Plates’ Kierath (34) and Ben Larkin (64) were watchful early as they negotiated the new ball conditions with caution, yet were able to keep the scoreboard moving at a steady rate. TK departed to leave Chip to bat with the middle order, playing the anchor role Chip accumulated in typical fashion (the Taree Glide was on show in all of its glory) as others batted around him. Their hard work in the first half of the innings set the platform for some lusty hitting when conditions became more favourable.
Ryan ‘Cougar Patrol’ Danne (40) put on an excellent limited overs batting display, not only by punishing the bad ball to the boundary but also with some smart running between the wickets as he tormented the Parramatta fielders. Ash ‘Beer Mat’ Cowan (23*) and Suda ‘Captain Jack’ Sivapalan (24*) closed out the innings with some rapid running between wickets and Uni finished 6/227. An innings which went completely to plan resulted in Uni taking 80 runs from the last 10 overs.
The mood in the camp at half time was that we may have been a little bit over par but as the wicket was expected to flatten out with a scorching Sydney sun beating down on it we would still have to put in a professional display with the ball. Josh Toyer’bald/devon’ was obviously confident, seen loading a full case of beer into an esky loaded with ice in full view of the dejected Parramatta fielders as they trudged up towards the changerooms.
Kieran Tate (3/38 off 10) and Ryan Danne (1/37 off 10) did the early damage with the ball as their persistent line and length was rewarded, reducing Parramatta to 2/37 off their first 14 overs.
Parramatta then struggled to build partnerships as Kierath (3-20 off 10 with 4 maidens) was relentless with his control and did not give Parra an inch. The seamers were able to rotate from the other end as wickets consistently fell.
Josh Toyer (2-48 off 10) and Tate came back with strong second spells to close the game out as the required rate slipped further and further from Parra’s reach. Sustained pressure from the bowling group never gave Parramatta a sniff of the total as they ended their 50 overs 9/192. It was also an admirable fielding effort given the heat.
A proficient display from the Uni boys whose attention now turns to Randwick Petersham as we strive to extend our winning streak to ten in a row.
Sydney University 10/157 (H Kermond 34, V Umbers 32) Defeated by Parramatta 7/158 (R Holcroft 3/26)
Trekking out to parramatta, the 4th grade boys were keen to get a win under their belt for a clean run into finals. The Nash treams were changed up with country expectedly beating the younger and less experienced city. Losing the toss, we were sent into bat on a soft wicket. Some good batting up the top from Brayden Dilley and Vince Umbers, each 30 and some great lower order batting from Angus Cusack with a quick 40, brought the team total to 157.
Some great bowling by Ryan Holcroft, picking up 3 wickets, had Parramatta reeling at 3 for 10, however good batting allowed them to take out the game in the 39th over. A disappointing loss however with three rounds to go we are still well and truly in finals contention with a massive round against Randwick-Petersham coming this weekend.
Sydney University 10/150 (N Powys 56, D Wicks 21, R Padhye 3/38) Tied with Parramatta 10/150 (P Calvert 25, F Chowdhury 20, M Miles 3/35, C Slater 2/22)
After the disappointment of last week, 5s arrived more than ready to make amends, and what ensued was an absolute cracker.
Losing the toss and asked to bat the students struggled early slumping to 2/12 after losing opener Gillespie for 5 and Day run out for 4. A few mini partnerships were evident throughout our dig with Danny Wicks and Sameer Murthy top scoring with 21 and 18 respectively throughout the middle order before Nick Powys entered. Nick showed enormous control, patience and intelligence working the ball around and manipulating the field. Nick combined well with Natesh to put on 53 for the 8th wicket to enable us to post 150.
Parramatta started strongly quickly progressing to 43 without loss before a great little period saw us claim 4/24 to have Parra 4/67. Excellent control and entushiasm in the field saw us continue to take wickets at regular intervals with Murray Miles the main destroyer claiming 3/35. Parramatta lost their 9th needing ten to win and tensions were high. Paul Calvert was cruising before Sameer Murthy managed to force the mistake with the scores were equal. After a numerous double checks of the scorebooks, game over scores equal. Tie.
Sydney University 8/222 (E Clout 66*, H Rogers 45, T Drace 24*, M Waugh 4/38) Defeated Randwick Petersham Gold 10/218 (D McDonough 63, N Crawford 47, D Sidney 32, A Mishra 4/38)
The Metro students have solidified their position in the top 4 with a tight victory over 5th placed Randwick-Petersham.
Winning the toss yet again the Uni boys strapped on the pads and were immediately in trouble losing a wicket on the first ball of the innings. A small consolidation was undone as 3 quick wickets fell with only 1 run scored between them. At 4/34 in the 9th over Hamish Rogers and Ethan Clout set about resurrecting the innings. Rogers targeted the straight boundary, hitting over the infield for 8 boundaries in his 45. Clout played the anchor and batted through to the 50th for his 66no. His innings combined with some late hitting from Tom Draca (24*) helped lift the total to a defendable but below par 222.
A wicket in the first over was the only positive for the students in a punishing opening session of bowling. Loose width gave the home team too many 4 balls to take advantage of and they eased their way to 1/73. Long term partnerships held against the Uni attack but good defensive bowling through the middle session held the required run rate to 6 for the last 20 overs. With wickets still in hand at 2/101 the batsmen threw caution to the wind in an effort to chase the runs in boundaries. Deceptive changes of pace and length from Ayush Mishra collected 4 more wickets but the home team was still on track to reach our total off the back of their number 4's 63. At the end of the 48th over with just 5 runs required Clout stepped up again to claim the wicket of their set batsman and all but seal the win for the students. The last wicket fell with 3 balls to spare without another run added to the score.
Another close win under pressure will help our confidence in the lead up to finals. We now travel to play 1st placed Gordon with eyes on securing a home final and continuing our strong 2017 momentum.
Bowling the Whales out for 132 in the second innings (and an overall lead of 115) was a strong victory gaining valuable points in the campaign towards finals. The students now move into the top 4 and journey to Kensington to play 5th placed Randwick-Petersham.
Sydney Uni Vets against Scots College Old Boys.
Spare a thought for the men who spent a couple of hours in the field yesterday afternoon. Our first games for several years on the beautiful Scots Main Oval, with the harbour in the background. But it wasn’t an afternoon for enjoying the view.
We had only 10 men due to a late withdrawal due to sickness. Skipper lost the toss and we were asked to bowl first. One player was caught out by the early start. So we took the field with 9. Oppressive doesn’t even begin to describe the conditions as we walked onto the field. With a noticeably younger opposition, there was a possibility it could go badly. However, 2 early wickets to Smokey, both caught by the first of our 3 stand-in keepers for the day, Stevens, had us on top. From there the opposition 3 and 4 put on a partnership. But we changed around our spinners regularly, and fielded manfully, and keep them from getting away. We didn’t take another wicket until about 30th over, with each of the opposition 3 and 4 out for about 75. We held a few catches late in the innings, watched a few big hits said over the boundary rope, and did reasonably well to keep Scots to 5-217 from their 35 overs. Wickets also to Stevens, Smee (playing his first game for the Vets) and Phil Bowman. Special mention to Nick Bowman, Seb Smee and Alex Hunter, who ran the outfield for much of the afternoon. Alex dived to save boundaries several times, let nothing past him, and must have lost 5kg. And refused an offer to bowl late in the innings on the grounds of exhaustion.
In reply Smokey and Stevens opened. Smokey hit a couple of boundaries in the first few overs then departed. Stevens and Freeman then consolidated, with runs coming regularly despite quality bowling from one end in particular. A 6 to Freeman last ball before the first drinks break saw us 1-55 after 12 overs and in the hunt. Unfortunately the runs slowed for a few overs after the resumption, and then the loss of both Freeman (27) and the Stevens (19) exposed our limited batting line-up. Umar Hiyatt and Alex Hunter each hit about a dozen, and we limped to 9-125 when the game was ended at the 34 over mark.