Former New South Wales Blues’ and Sydney Thunder fast bowler Nic Bills claimed his 300th wicket on Saturday as a number of teams made solid starts to their McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket two-day fixtures.
Bills claimed 2-68 for Sydney against North Sydney to take him to 301 First Grade wickets at an average of 22.57.
The Tigers bowled out North Sydney for 332 in 84.2 overs. Ryan Felsch (5-66) returned his first five-wicket haul of the season for Sydney in an impressive performance. James Aitken (90) top scored for the Bears.
After his knock of 113 not out last week against Hawkesbury, Aitken fell 10 runs short of being the first 40 year-old to score centuries in successive First Grade innings since Rugby League International and great Canterbury-Bankstown fullback, Les Johns, performed the feat in 1986.
Johns was three years older than Aitken when he scored 111 and 101 for Sutherland against Gordon and Northern District in the last two innings of his Grade cricket career.
Campbelltown-Camden opener Aaron Yabsley made it consecutive centuries in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket against UNSW at Alan Davidson Oval. He made 112 from 163 deliveries as the Ghosts batted out the day to finish 9/337.
The innings followed his knock of 135 against Parramatta the previous week.
It continues a break out season for Yabsley after he had made just the one First Grade century in 41 innings since his debut at that level in 2009-10. He has scored 706 runs this season at 47.1.
Philip Wells (82 not out) also compiled his sixth fifty since moving to Campbelltown-Camden from Bankstown at the start of the season. He has posted 674 runs at 51.8.
UNSW opening bowler Hayden McLean claimed 4-58 and Joshua Bennett also picked up 3-55.
Eastern Suburbs’ batsman Angus Robson once again found himself in the nervous nineties for the second Saturday in succession, but managed to find a way to his century in a very important innings for his club.
Last Saturday, the Easts’ No. 3 was dismissed for 96 against Gordon and he was 95 when the last man Jonathon Smith came to the crease. Smith negated 14 balls before Robson overcame the nerves to reach his hundred with his eighth four of the day.
Robson scored 103 not out to pull his team out of the mire from 5-47 to be dismissed for 207. His innings took him past 2,000 First Grade runs to 2,032.
Australian and NSW Blues’ wicketkeeper batsman Peter Nevill fell early on to the bowling of St George captain and all-rounder Nick Stapleton, who collected 3-34. Best figures for the Saints belonged to Oliver Robinson. He took 3-24 from his 15 overs.
In reply, St George was 2/78 with Luke Bartier (25 not out) and Jonathan Rose (29 not out) at the crease.
Leading wicket-taker in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket for the season, Western Suburbs leg-spinner Jonathan Cook (6-112) collected his fourth five-wicket haul against Mosman.
It was the seventh time he had returned more than four wickets in an innings this season. He has taken 45 wickets at an average of 15.
Mosman posted 7/389 by the end of the day’s play. David Lowery (130) scored his second century of the season and shared in a partnership of 145 with Whales’ captain Scott Rodgie (86).
Sutherland edged its nose in front against Bankstown late on Saturday at Bankstown Memorial Oval.
Jamie Brown amassed 126 for the visitors in a competitive total of 281. It was a vital innings for the men from the Shire given the next best score was 37 posted by Peter Saroukos. First change bowler for Bankstown Rhys Williams returned best figures of 3-37.
Sutherland then gained the upper hand heading into next week with the wicket of Ben Le Bas without scoring. Bankstown was 1/6 at stumps.
Blues’ rookie Mickey Edwards made a successful return to McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket for Manly-Warringah against Blacktown at Joe McAleer Oval. He took 2-21 from 11 overs, as the home side were bundled out 146 in 40 overs.
Thomas Kaye was even better for Manly. He claimed 4-9 from his nine overs. Michael Visser returned the next best figures of 3-70. Jake Fawcett (83) was the saving grace for the hosts compiling more than half the Blacktown total.
James Crosthwaite then punished the Blacktown attack to put his team in a dominant position. He made a brisk 141 from 116 balls and combined with brother Adam (69 not out) for a second-wicket partnership of 167 before captain Cameron Merchant declared at 2/224 and sent the Warriors in again. They lost one wicket before the close of play to be 1/23 heading into next week.
Fairfield-Liverpool opener Michael Critchley made his first century of the season count falling just one run short of 150 against Penrith.
His innings of 149 helped establish a substantial total for the hosts of 352. Zach Johns also made 70 not out down the order. Captain Michael Castle was the best of the Penrith bowlers. He finished with figures of 4-58.
In other matches, Hawkesbury was bowled out for 186 (DJ McKay 69, J Clarke 32, M Parkinson 4-67, M Junk 3-77) and in response Gordon are 1/23; Randwick Petersham were dismissed for 274 (D Sams 83, S Chhibber 54, JR Pattison 3-29) and Northern District finished 1/59 (HJ Hunt 30 not out, DA Anderson 27 not out) in response; and Parramatta 313 (B Cherry 72, S Copperfield 71, LS Robertson 3-12, T Ley 3-73) have Sydney University 1/12 in some early trouble.