New South Wales’ Blues opening batsman Nick Larkin has made his highest score in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket on a weekend where the runs flowed across the competition.
The Sydney University captain posted an outstanding 246 from 276 balls against Mosman at Allan Border Oval on Saturday, which was the highest First Grade score since former Australian and New South Wales opening batsman Phil Jaques scored an incredible 321 for Sutherland in 2007.
It was the second highest score for Sydney University behind 253 made by Ed Cowan in 2006 and Johnny Taylor in 1923.
During his nearly six hour stay at the crease, Larkin hit 25 fours and five sixes, as his team amassed 7/413 in the first innings. He has now made one double hundred and two centuries in the space of seven matches for his club this season. The opener has scored 646 runs in that time at an average of 92.3.
Thomas Slack was a shining light on a long day for the Whales. He collected 5-85 from 24.2 overs.
Despite a third First Grade century in seven innings for 19 year-old Anthony Adlam (130), Mosman lost its last six wickets for 84 to be bowled out for 276 on Sunday. Joe Kershaw picked up 4-41 for the students.
The first innings win put the defending champions into equal second on the ladder with Sutherland.
Daniel Solway continued his prodigious season with bat in hand for Bankstown against Northern District at Mark Taylor Oval. He compiled 174 from 300 deliveries to post his fifth century of the competition.
The last player to reach that mark at an earlier date was legendary English opening batsman, Geoff Boycott, who scored his fifth century on the 3 January 1977, during season 1976-77 playing for Waverley.
It was the 11th century of Solway’s career with six of those over 150. The Bankstown batsman has made 942 runs at 94.2 this season and remains the leading run-scorer in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket.
His 263-run partnership with Brendan Smith, who himself played a fantastic innings of 125 from 166 balls, helped his team to 5/411 in its first innings against Northern District.
In reply, Northern District lost early wickets to fall to 3/32 which ultimately cost the hosts any chance of a first innings victory. A resilient hundred from Daniel Anderson (123) down the order gave the home side hope, but it wasn’t enough. Bankstown prevailed by 69 runs on the first innings.
Nathan McAndrew claimed 4-73 to take his season tally to 18 wickets at 25.4. The win for Bankstown maintained its spot in the top six.
Campbelltown-Camden remained at the top of the table despite a 57-run first innings loss to Parramatta at Raby Oval No. 1.
The visitors set the Ghosts 371 for victory, after they were 4-63 at one stage, which included the key wicket of Parramatta captain Nick Bertus for a fourth ball duck. A century to Ben Cherry (103) and a terrific rear-guard action from Scott Copperfield (90) at No. 8 rescued the innings. Brother of New South Wales Blues’ quick Sean Abbott, Ben Abbott, also made 60.
Sam Skelly took 3-44 for Campbelltown-Camden in a great bowling performance which was well supported by some clean keeping behind the stumps with four catches to Oliver Pope.
In contrast to the start of the Parramatta innings, Campbelltown-Camden made a solid start to progress to 2-205 thanks largely to Aaron Yabsley, who made 135 from 148 balls.
However, once Yabsley was dismissed by Trent Crittenden (3-33), the chase lost all momentum for the Ghosts. Campbelltown-Camden were bowled out for 313 in the 90th over. The win kept Parramatta in fourth place on the ladder.
Sutherland was another team to accrue more than 400 runs in its first innings when it made 8/409 against Randwick Petersham at Glenn McGrath Oval. Jamie Brown (91) and Tom Doyle (91) were both dismissed nine runs short of their respective centuries, and Peter Saroukos was also impressive for the hosts with 70 from 69 balls. Kushaal Ram (3-72) was the leading wicket taker for the visitors.
Randwick Petersham secured a draw with a strong display of patient batting to finish at 6/273 from 98.5 overs. Captain and wicketkeeper Anthony Sams (83) and Joshua Bohannon (83) were resolute for the away side. Adam Semple (21 not out) went past 5,000 runs to 5015 for his career.
Twenty-one years after his maiden First Grade century, James Aitken (113 not out) scored his seventh career century on an otherwise disappointing day for his club.
The Bears were soundly beaten on the first innings by Hawkesbury, which was yet another team to score 400 plus runs.
Nineteen year-old Jaskaran Cheema (107) scored his second hundred of the season for the Hawks at the top of the order, but his effort was bettered by 145 from 230 deliveries to NSW Blues rookie Jordan Gauci in a total of 6/413. Corey Lowe made 70 not out to take him past 5,000 career runs to 5,064.
Hawkesbury bowled out North Sydney for 269 within 67 overs, with Usman Qadir again spinning his way to a third five-wicket haul for the season (5-108).
Matthew Gilkes (127) was a lone hand for UNSW in a heavy defeat to Manly-Warringah on the first innings at Manly Oval. The home team scored 7/322 after being sent in by the students. The innings was highlighted by 112 to middle-order batsman Cameron Merchant.
The maiden First Grade hundred for eighteen year-old Gilkes was made all the more meritorious by the fact that his knock comprised 66.49% of the UNSW total of 191 against the students. Only on eight previous occasions has a player scored a century contributed a higher percentage of runs to a completed innings.
The record belongs to former Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist, who contributed 75.88%, when he scored 129 of a total of 170 for Northern District against Sutherland on 26 February 1994.
In other results, Western Suburbs 7/382 (JG Psarakis 118, A Isherwood 101 not out) took first innings points against Blacktown 192 (MN Shinwari 53 not out, A Brown 5-49) and 6/155 (J Hilder 69, N Eckersley 2-24), Eastern Suburbs 6/332 (AJ Robson 96, MW Parkinson 2-77) overcame Gordon 307 (S Colley 132, T Skelly 3-55, J Preddey 2-51, W Somerville 2-80) on the first innings away from home, St George 296 (L Bartier 70, BD Macdonald 66, JM Wholohan 5-105) beat Penrith 229 (L Hodges 56, M Lacey 5-74, N Stapleton 3-59) on the first innings, and Fairfield-Liverpool 245 (WA Delpechitra 75, NA Sowter 4-51, BA Manenti 4-66) lost on the first innings to Sydney 5/246 (AJ Mosca 109, BR McClintock 70).