Sydney University have once again stamped themselves as contenders in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket, with New South Wales Blues’ opener Nick Larkin starring for the students.
Larkin was among a number of batsmen to pile on the runs on a weekend which also the saw the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup get under way.
Opening the innings with fellow Blues’ batsman, Ed Cowan (15), the Sydney University captain took the Hawkesbury attack apart on Saturday, scoring 140 runs from 137 deliveries, including 21 fours and one six.
It was his first century in just his second match of the season following a broken finger and comes a week after a century in each innings for NSW Metro in the Futures’ League match against ACT/NSW Country.
The knock set up the day for the defending champions, who declared at 9/397. Ben Trevor-Jones (68) and Damien Mortimer (53) also made significant contributions to the total.
It got even better for the hosts, who took three quick wickets late in the day to have Hawkesbury 3/24 at stumps. Joe Kershaw took 2-16 from 5 overs and Ben Joy picked up 1-7 from his first 4 overs.
In the top of the table match between Eastern Suburbs and Manly-Warringah, both teams are evenly poised heading into next week.
James Crosthwaite (103) and Cameron Merchant (102) both scored centuries for the visitors at Waverly Oval to keep their team in the match, as no other batsmen scored more than 30 in a total of 283. It was the 12th First Grade century for Merchant.
Blues’ pacemen Harry Conway returned to form for his club, claiming 4-30. He combined with Samuel Doggett (3-82) to take the majority of the wickets. New South Wales’ off spinner Will Somerville also took 1-74. Eastern Suburbs finished the day at 0/6 after facing one over from Manly captain Chris Green.
Harry Evans posted his ninth First Grade century and in the process passed 4000 runs. The middle order batsman made 153 from 192 balls in a huge score of 6/423 for Gordon against Bankstown.
The innings took Evans to 4001 First Grade runs at an average of 42.56. It was his second century for the season so far, amassing 351 runs at 87.8. Cameron Eccles (88) and wicket-keeper Ashley Doolan (56 not out) were the other notable run-scorers.
Campbelltown-Camden kept its terrific start to the season going, dismissing St George for 189 at Raby Oval No.1. Jarrad Burke maintained his place as the leading wicket taker in the competition with 4-58 and now has 20 wickets for the season after taking 2-23 against ACT in the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup on Sunday. Samuel Skelly was the next best bowler for the Ghosts returning 3-27. Dylan Smith (61) top scored for the Saints.
In reply, Campbelltown-Camden are 0/94 led by Aaron Yabsley, who is 57 not out, and will be looking to make a big score to give his team a chance at outright victory. In his first appearance for St George this season, Australian and New South Wales fast bowler Josh Hazlewood bowled 10 overs, finishing with 0-33.
In other results, North Sydney finished 8/281 away to Mosman at Allan Border Oval (A. Oberai 71, T. Jagot 46, D. Dassaanayake 3-60); Sydney was dismissed for 273 (N. Bills 76, B. Manenti 43, J. Cook 4-66) by Western Suburbs who were 1/54 at stumps (N. Eckersley 30 not out); Parramatta were bowled out for 300 against Blacktown (T. Ward 82, W. Affleck 54, G. Joseph 3-80), who are 1/13 (B.Martin 1-1) in response, and Fairfield Liverpool were 7/279 (G. Sandhu 63 not out, P Uppal 55, D. Fallins 4-113) by day’s end against Sutherland at Glenn McGrath Oval.
Rain prevented any play on day one in the matches between UNSW against Randwick Petersham; and Northern District against Penrith.
Sunday then finished an action-packed weekend of McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket with the beginning of the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup.
Hawkesbury was the only team to win both of its back-to-back matches, defeating Fairfield-Liverpool and Northern District at Owen Earle Oval. Josh Clarke scoring 79 not out and 32 respectively, taking him past 4000 First Grade runs to 4019 at an average of 34.05.
He was also very useful with the ball in a tight encounter against Fairfield-Liverpool where his 3-17 went a long way to ensuring the one run win.
Bankstown started its day with a win over Western Suburbs before a defeat in its second match. Daniel Solway (83 from 61 balls) and captain Mitchell Stretton (62 from 44 balls) both cleared the fence on several occasions plundering the Wests’ attack to all parts. Solway hit 6 sixes in his innings and Stretton three. The Magpies falling 56 runs short at 6/127 in response to 4/183. Kyle Brockley was best of the bowlers with 4-18.
However, Bankstown was brought to back earth with a thud in its second match dismissed for just 73 chasing 9/133 against Penrith. Michael Castle was most impressive in the bowling performance for the victors taking 4-8. Blues’ batsman Ryan Gibson also scored 50 for the Panthers.
Jamie Brown scored 74 not out for Sutherland in its win over Randwick-Petersham in round 1, and Ben Dwarshuis continued to show why he is such a valuable T20 bowler returning 4-25.
Arguably, the all-round performance of the first round was produced by Nicholas Stapleton who took 3-20 and scored 68 in a six wicket win for St George over UNSW.
Mosman claimed its first win later in the day defeating Manly-Warringah by 26 runs. Johan Botha set the tone for the Whales with the bat scoring 70 not out from 40 deliveries. Scott Rodgie also pitched in with 67 from 33 balls in a total of 4/219. Danul Dassanayake (3-47) picked up three wickets for the fourth consecutive match in a row, as Manly-Warringah were restricted to 7/193.