Sydney Uni 2-161: E Cowan 75*, H Kerr 53
Campbelltown-Camden 8-155: L Robertson 2-21, H Kerr 2-21, L Neil-Smith 2-23
The students arrived at Raby to play the table topping Ghosts knowing victory was required to progress to the finals. Fresh off a limited overs title, the white ball format suited the visitors in a high pressure encounter.
The Ghosts won the toss and elected to bat. The university bowlers were on the mark from the beginning, building early pressure with maidens before Neil-Smith accounted for both openers to leave the home side 2/27 after 10 overs.
Joy and Kerr were introduced to the attack and picked up where the openers left off. The control of length from the bowling group was simply superb, as the Ghosts batsmen struggled to find rhythm or rotate the strike.
The talented Kerr ripped out Phil Wells’ middle stump and then trapped Browne leg before wicket to reduce Campbelltown to 4/53. The top of the table side never recovered as wickets continued to fall throughout the innings.
Robertson chimed in with a lovely spell to grab two wickets, whilst the ever hungry Tim Ley took his 54th of the season when Ben Joy held onto a stunning catch at long on.
Malone delivered arguably the ball of the day to bowl leading scorer and captain, Jarrad Burke, for 30. With that the Ghosts could only limp to 8/155 from their allotted overs.
Larkin and Kerr got the chase off to a quick start, before Larkin fell to Burke’s second delivery with the score on 46. Kerr was well into his work by this point, dismantling yet another attack with savage drives and pulls. Cowan joined him and the two looked intent on burying the game inside 20 overs. Kerr fell for 53 from 32 deliveries. Cowan took this as a signal to go harder, using his feet as only he can to smash anything and everything on his way to 75* from just 42 balls. His retirement from professional cricket a blessing for his club side.
Victory was achieved in the 20th over, for the loss of only two wickets, leaving the good guys 3rd on the table and taking on Sutherland at University number 1 in the QF.
Sydney Uni 7-282: D Holloway 72*, R Danne 67, M Powys 54
Campbelltown-Camden 176: J Craig-Dobson 3-43, R Danne 2-25, J Lawson 2-44
Sydney Uni 127: AJ Grant 42, C Litchfield 30
Campbelltown-Camden 122: AJ Grant 4-25, A Cowan 2-12, L Whitaker 2-17, K Tate 2-29
In a return to 1-day cricket the Units travelled down the M5 to the Campbelltown Nursery aka Raby. A few changes in personnel meant that there were some new (i.e. old) faces in the team, and we had compiled the cream of the crop in terms of Nash across both young and Old. The pre-match showers (not to be confused with the post-match showers, which are obviously much more pleasant) juiced up the track and with the extra man and plenty of talent across the park young were a force to be reckoned with.
What followed was an outstanding display of the game they play in heaven, and young cantered around the park creating many opportunities for your scribe to put his sloppy rig behind the ball with great success. Of course, Old had the class, with Dele Alli (Shaw) and Wayne Rooney causing absolute havoc up front, creating many opportunities for Robbo to put his sloppy rig etc and so on. A closely fought encounter went the way of the good guys, and young were taught another lesson.
It is hard to be certain which is higher this season, the number of tosses your scribe has won, or the number of games of Nash that young have won. Both are 3 or less, and it will surprise no-one that those respective totals did not increase on Saturday. Upon losing the toss we were sent in to bat on a pitch that looked like it would play pretty well but also give a fair bit of assistance to the bowlers.
Openers Litchy and newly promoted Hayden Storey went out and we got off to a satisfactory start. After Storey departed Shawry joined Litch and put together our best partnership of the day, battling against the conditions and consistent bowling from the Ghosts’ young attack. After the partnership was broken there was a flurry of wickets as we struggled to deal with the off-spinner/mental demons. The big bustler was a shining light in this, and his 42 was well compiled with a good mix of solid defence and positive intent. The 33-run partnership between AJ and Robbo is also worth noting, as Robbo somehow managed to contribute 0 of these.
All out 127 in 37 overs was quite disappointing, however given the strength of our bowling attack and with a home final on the line, the Units were confident of turning the game around and securing the points. Tate and Wood bowled well without reward, and the Ghosts’ openers came out aggressively so at 0/43 we were in some trouble. The turning point came with the introduction of Grant and Whit, who bowled together in a match winning partnership of seam and spin.
Whit, pining at his separation from his rare twin Leggie, was back to his best and his 2/17 off 10 straight was a class above. The big boerewors was even better, and showed why he has led the player of the year all season with accurate seam bowling that asked questions every ball. 4/25 off 10 and could’ve easily bagged Michelle, in a man-of-the-match effort that locked up the trophy from a gallant Jazzy Rinka.
The reintroduction of Tate yielded further wickets and with the 1s boys wrapping up their game and assembling a cheer squad the match was heading to a tense conclusion. Your scribe gambled with his top 4 bowlers however it was rapidly becoming clear that at least one more bowler would be needed. Therefore, the shoulder was oiled up and set into action, with some onlookers no doubt questioning the method of bowling given the lack of velocity. Nevertheless, 2 deceptively slow seam-up deliveries (not slower balls, just slow) yielded the same results, with the young tyro and Lloyd Pope’s twin spooning catches to the mid-wicket for the good guys to get home with 5 runs to spare.
In the end, a very satisfying win and while it didn’t matter in terms of our eventual finishing position, it certainly mattered in terms of momentum going into the finals. Unbeaten since round 7 with 7 wins in a row, once again we are where we need to be and as luck would have it the first fixture is a repeat of the last from last season.
Fraternisation $$$ may well be at a peak as for the 6th time in 3 seasons we lock horns with Aadil and his Whales and attempt to continue our run into the semis. Can’t wait.
Sydney Uni 1-81: V Umbers 32, B Dilley 25*
Campbelltown-Camden 80: S Canagasingham 2-9, T Fullerton 2-11, R Browne 2-17, J Rinka 2-18
Sydney Uni 144: A Kirubanandan 28, T Draca 26
Campbelltown-Camden 116: M Miles 3-18, A Wilkinson 2-9, E Jamieson 2-14
Sydney Uni 161
Randwick-Petersham Gold 188