Sydney University’s dominant win over Penrith in Sunday’s quarter-final places the club in the First Grade Limited Overs competition semi-final for the eighth time. The semi-final will be played against Gordon at University Oval next Sunday.
Ash Cowan has become the thirteenth batsman in the club’s history to reach 6000 runs in all grades. He now has 6014: 40 in Firsts, 1018 in Seconds, 2569 in Thirds; 1733 in Fourths; 593 in Fifths; 29 in Metropolitan Cup; and 32 in Poidevin-Gray. It would have done justice to his career as a whole had he reached the milestone with his signature lofted straight drive; as it happened, though, his 6000th run came from a thick inside edge that escaped for a single after bouncing off the square leg umpire. Early indications are that this is the first time anyone has reached 6000 runs for the club by hitting an umpire: investigations continue.
Damien Mortimer laid the foundation for the quarter-final win with an outstanding 129 not out from 130 deliveries against Penrith. It was his seventh First Grade hundred (including one for Campbelltown-Camden). During his innings, he passed 2500 runs for the club, all of them in First Grade. He became the 28th player to score 2500 runs for University in the First Grade competition: of the players who have reached that mark, only NSW representatives Greg Mail, Rod Davison and Eric Barbour have averages higher than Damien’s 46.96.
Devlin Malone has become the first player this season to take 50 wickets in First Grade across the three competition formats. Devlin took his 50th wicket when he bowled Ryan Gibson during his dominant spell of 5-34 in the Limited Overs quarter-final win over Penrith. It was the fifth time this season that Devlin has taken five wickets in an innings, and the ninth time in his First Grade career (including twice for Sutherland). It’s the first time Devlin has taken fifty wickets in a First Grade season, and the first time a leg-spinner has taken fifty First Grade wickets for University since Walter Stack (who played seven first-class matches for NSW) managed the feat in successive seasons, 1911-12 and 1912-13. Overall, it’s only the 19th time a bowler has taken 50 First Grade wickets in a season for Sydney University.
Ed Cowan lit up the Limited Overs quarter final against Penrith with his spectacular 89 from 70 balls, including no fewer than eight 6s. He continues to climb up the ladder of all-time run-scorers in the First Grade competition: he has now passed Jack Giffen (7607), Andrew Sainsbury (7615), former NSW all-rounder Ted Cotton (7620) and University of NSW opener Greg Livingstone (7628) and is in 77th place with 7660 runs. It’s worth bearing in mind that most of the players on this list had long careers in Grade cricket without too many interruptions from representative cricket, while Ed had a long first-class career that included 18 Tests and several seasons in Tasmania.
Ryan McElduff, with 3-34, collected his best First Grade bowling figures in Sunday’s quarter-final against Penrith.
Liam Robertson’s appearance in the Limited Overs quarter-final against Penrith was his 48th appearance in a final (5 in Poidevin-Gray, 6 in Second Grade, one in Third Grade, 14 in the T20 competition, 13 in the First Grade Limited Overs competition and 9 in the regular First Grade competition). He is almost certain to play his fiftieth final this season, but still has some way to go, however, before he catches Tom Kierath, who has played in 52 finals matches (7 in Firsts, 10 in T20, 9 in the First Grade Limited Overs, 22 in Seconds, 2 in Thirds and 2 in Metropolitan Cup).
Tim Cummins held five catches in Gordon’s innings in First Grade at Chatswood on Saturday, after hitting 80 in University’s innings. His half-century was the fifteenth of his First Grade career (including one century). It was the second time he has competed five dismissals in an innings for the club (the last occasion being in last year’s Grand Final); he also achieved this once for Penrith (against Randwick-Petersham in 2012-13). He now has 44 dismissals for the season, which is the sixth-highest total recorded by any Sydney University keeper in First Grade.
Max Hope’s 78 against Gordon was the sixth score of fifty or more in his Second Grade career (including one century).
James Robertson’s 55 against Gordon in Fifth Grade was his second successive half-century and his third for the club.
Shehan Canagasingham picked up three wickets in Fifth Grade’s win over Gordon, which you’d expect, but didn’t bat. Usually that would be totally boring information, except that it means that after 13 rounds, Shehan has still not been dismissed this season. Can he get through the season without losing his wicket? We’ll be watching.