Sydney Uni 4-257: N Larkin 164, D Mortimer 65
North Sydney 193: E Cowan 3-28, L Robertson 2-10, L Neil-Smith 2-17, T Ley 2-47
A wet outfield delayed the start of play until 2pm. The coin fell as a head, and the home side chose to bowl on a benign surface for the standards that we have come to expect at number 1 oval this season.
Tim Ley got us off to a great start again, taking two wickets with the new ball, including the dangerous Avendano. Neil-Smith was excellent on his return to the top grade, taking an early wicket as well. 3/22 made for good reading, but the wicket was flat and as the ball lost some hardness the batsmen began to prosper. Robertson and Cowan were introduced in tandem after spending the first 30 overs speaking about their putting swings in the slip cordon. Both had immediate impact, Robertson finding an edge and Cowan drawing a loose shot with a cagey long-hop. At 5/90 the Student’s felt like batting was just around the corner.
Some stubborn lower order batting slowed the charge, but at no time did the scoreboard move quickly, and Cowan and Robertson continued their fine bowling partnership to keep chipping away at the North Sydney lower order. At stumps on day 1 the scoreboard read 9/185, Cowan collecting a career best 3/28 off 12 and Robertson proving his ability as a seam option with 2/10 off 9 overs.
Day 2 started in similar fashion, with Neil-Smith and Joy bowling with incredible discipline to make life hard for the final two batsmen. Joy eventually bounced out his opposite number and North Sydney were all out for 193 in the 73rd over. North Sydney started well with the ball, showing good control and skill. Trevor-Jones nicked off early for a duck and Cowan followed after being adjudged LBW for 13, leaving things in the balance at 2/25.
Larkin found a keen ally in Mortimer. The two steadily built a partnership and negotiated some inconsistent bounce to go into the lunch break at 2/53. The shackles were broken after lunch though, as the opening bowlers tired and spin was introduced. Larkin opened the shoulders to advance past 50 and Mortimer was finding rhythm at the other end. As the partnership moved past the century mark, North Sydney began to lose belief that they could force a result. Scoring accelerated from there and before long Larkin was celebrating his fourth century of the season, and Mortimer yet another half century. The visitor’s total was passed and the partnership stretched on to 219 before Mortimer fell for a crucial 65.
When Larkin eventually hauled out for 164, and the lead had stretched beyond 60, the team consensus was that it was worth a push for an unlikely 10 points. Despite an early breakthrough to the impressive Neil-Smith and a wicket to Malone, North Sydney made it past the deficit just two wickets down and the captains decided to call it quits.
A hugely valuable 6 points and the student’s now sit on top of a congested first grade table.
Sydney Uni 167: N Craze 50, A Shaw 27
North Sydney 66: J Craig-Dobson 3-11, J Holloway 2-16
A delayed start saw the 2s boys head off for a coffee. Most of the team forked out $5 for a flat white at the Greens (a stone throw from Bon Andrews), while the more erudite among us walked a further 100 metres to pay $3.50 at the Library. Young lost nash under questionable circumstances and we were sent in to bat on a wicket that promised movement for the fast bowler. In the form his life, Craze was imperious, charging the opening bowlers and carving the ball in whichever direction he chose. His partner Powys was disrespectful towards anything short of a good length. It took a good catch at second slip to remove Powys for 23. Craze continued on his merry way to a fine 50 but without help from the other end – Hobson and Larkin fell in quick succession. J Holloway and AG Shaw offered some stability at the cost of moving the scoreboard along, which meant when they departed the students were in danger of being embarrassed. The tail was quickly dealt with and suddenly the Bears needed only 168 for an upset.
D Holloway provided the best possible start with a brilliant run out from mid-on. Dobson and Tate bowled with control and made it difficult to score. The students were energised by a lack of intent from the Bears and swarmed them. Wickets fell at a steady rate from both ends, including a succession of bizarre run-outs. In the end, the Bears took a knee and were rolled for 66. Dobson finished with 3 wickets, J Holloway with 2 and Tate and D Holloway with 1 each.
Sydney Uni 219: AJ Grant 66, M Robinson 63, H Storey 32, O Thompson 27
North Sydney 89: A Peek 3-28, AJ Grant 2-5, J Rinka 2-16
4’s made there way to Tunks Park to take on North Sydney, with the side looking to bounce back from a disappointing loss the week and continue their push towards finals. With a delayed start and the team waiting to hear further news from the umpires, debutant Mortimer was more than happy to recount his Friday night to anyone that was willing to listen.
With play now scheduled to start and the full 50 overs to remain for both sides, a 0-0 nash affair occurred with the Julio’s taking the win due to having the lesser man. The highlight of the match was a 50/50 ball between Fullers and Robbo, with Fullers perfectly dropping the shoulder into Robbo, resulting in him being left in embarrassment on the floor.
The return of skipper AJ brought no luck to the toss unfortunately, with North Sydney sending us in to have a stick. From a combination of good bowling and poor assessment of conditions from the top order, Uni were left struggling at 4/16 and North Sydney right on top.
This brought Robbo and AJ together with huge pressure on both their shoulders to dig the team out of a massive hole. The pair combined beautifully, as they combated the early onslaught, then went on to reap the rewards later on as the wicket became easier to bat on.
Robbo batted with great maturity, picking up the 1’s and 2’s through good strike rotation early on, then some beautiful shots to hit some well earned boundaries. His final score of 63 was his highest scores in 4’s for the club and thoroughly deserved with the circumstances he came up against.
AJ like Robbo also rotated the strike well early on in between the loose balls. AJ demonstrated to the top order the importance of game plan and looking where to score your runs. On the tall opening quick, he pounced on anything short and wide, cutting through and over point, and against the medium pacer waited for anything to full so he could go over the top down the ground.
AJ ended up on a well compiled 66, being dismissed in somewhat funny circumstances looking back on. Recognising it was a leggie coming on to bowl who played for Sydney Uni last season, AJ went along the lines of to Robbo, “wait for his half-tracker.” First ball from the leggie, half-tracker like AJ was alert for, however caught at short midwicket.
The two poms Hayden (32) and Olly (27) then both combined nicely with some wonderful stroke play all around the ground. Once they were dismissed and the last few wickets fell cheaply, Uni finished up on 219, a good score especially after the poor start.
With Brett Lee watching over our game as he was at his sons game right next to us, Peeky was motivated to get things started with the ball. He bowled with great discipline and good skills, resulting in him taking 3 well deserved poles and a run out of his own off the back of the pressure he created.
The rest of the bowling attack then continued on from Peeky’s efforts early on, with Jazz and AJ taking 2 wickets each, Olly grabbing one himself and Brayden and Shezza combining for a late run out to both avoid the TFC, dismissing North Sydney for 89.
Strong batting from the middle order, disciplined bowling and a great intensity set in the field resulted in a bonus point win for 4’s. The side is now back in the top 6 and will be looking to try cement their position as they take on UNSW in a two-dayer next week.
Sydney Uni 6-126
North Sydney 9-129: V Umbers 3-12, T Draca 3-28
Sydney Uni 144: A Kirubanandan 47
Gordon 8-186: Z Islam 4-43, P Adikarige 2-18
Metro head down the Pacific Highway to face Gordon at the unfamiliar Metro ground Killara Oval.
We arrive in time for the unveiling of the pitch... and surprise surprise water from the previous
nights storms has seeped in under the covers to the point that the pitch now feels like it's made
of play doh. Umpires may have called the game right there and then but seeing as we make up our own gentleman's agreements in Metro, the captains agreed to reassess every half hour or so.
Eventually a start time of 12:30pm is negotiated and the match is reduced to 40 overs a side.
The toss is won and the sensible decision to bowl first is made by the Uni captain.
The ball is popping and seaming all over the place but the Gordon captain Williams and their number 3 Behlevanas handle the conditions with maturity.
Two things that can be said about our team this season is that we haven't bowled a lot of wides
or dropped many catches. Unfortunately this was the day that we let our standards slip.
27 wides and 6 dropped catches. At the end of the day this was one of the main differences between the two sides. As mentioned last week we are dealing with a disappointing number of unavailabilites and we were unable to put a full side on the park which is a let down when facing the compettition leaders.
Some fielding highlights included:
Izzy - Great turn with his offies 4/44
Cade - Inside edge catch and stumping off Izzy's bowling.
Jono Phoebus - Sharp one hand catch at gully.
Prasan Adikarige - A return to enconomical form 2-18
Bryan Handunneththi - Settling into the team took an amazing high outfield catch!
Final washup Gordon 8-186 off 40 overs.
Time to bat late in the day and we are looking for two volunteers to open the batting which at this point in the season is dishearting in itself. Tom Derrick and Ashwin Kirubanandan, our opening bowler step up. Facing the new ball and with the bounce and movement being unpredictable batting was tough. Ashwin handled the occasion and the pressure as expected. With purpose and determination. A class above Ashwin played some fantastic shots on his way to 47 until he was given out very questionably caught behind after the ball grazed his thigh pad down leg side. In 2018 why we are having young inexperienced team mates umpiring is beyond me when much lesser park competitions in Sydney have umpires every week. Another case for the "too hard basket" and continued frustration for everyone involved in Metro.
Some small cameo's from Veltro 14, Phoebus 15 and Cade 10 but each batsman was unable to get going with deliveries stopping on each of them leading to dismissal.
Max Shanahan played his best innings for the club batting at 8 scoring 22 well earned runs.
He played some of the types of shots we've seen from him in the nets and to see this purposeful batting in a match was very pleasing. Bryan Handunneththi joined Max at the crease and looked much more comfortable in his second match for the club, playing some nice shots and running with purpose turning ones into twos, finally to his own detriment, runout for 9 trying to help the scoring rate. Bryan is definately one to watch in the future at Sydney University.
Uni finish 9/144...
With two losses in a row for the first time this season we have lost our place in the top 4
and it dosen't get any easier facing leaders Penrith this week in a two dayer at home. We must embrace the challenge though!
Sometimes the things in our minds that have seemingly conspired against the team recently like dodgy pitches, bad umpiring and unavailabilities are just unfortunate random events that in the grand scale of things are out of our control.
The things we can control to a man like playing with intent and purpose, keeping our team standards and owning our jobs within the team are all things we can strive to be more consistant with over the final 3 regular season matches. #wecontrolourowndestinyinmakingthefinals.