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