Parramatta’s undefeated run in this season’s McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket AW Green Shield competition has earned them a spot in the Grand Final on Australia Day.
Parramatta went up against Northern District in their semi-final match at Merrylands Oval. Parramatta was sent in to bat first by the visitors, and it was captain Harrison King who took control of the innings after Lachlan Fisher (2-22) removed Parramatta’s opening pair.
King’s patient 58 runs came from 98 deliveries and included seven boundaries. His 69-run partnership with wicket-keeper Ryan Johns (28) helped stabilise the innings for the home side.
Despite King’s dismissal in the 41st over with the score on 4-142, Parramatta’s middle-order of Abishek Mohanaraj (31) and Blair Overton (24) added 58 runs in the final nine overs to complete their 50 overs with a score of 9-200.
Toby Gray continued his wicket-taking finals form finishing with 3-41 from his ten overs, and Joe Hiley (2-42) was the only other Northern District bowler to take a wicket.
Northern District’s leading run-scorer leading into the match Lachlan Fisher (0) failed to fire for the visitors.
His opening partner Corey Miller (6) was dismissed four balls later to have them in trouble at 2-7.
Much like the match against North Sydney, Parramatta was relentless with six of their bowlers taking wickets. The game appeared to be all but sealed when Northern District fell to 7-71. Wicket-keeper Mitchell Crayn continued to fight despite wickets falling all around him.
Tailenders William Coffey (21) and Nikhil Ahluwalia (13) left the final pair needing 72 runs to win. Unfortunately, Crayn was left stranded on 61 as the last wicket fell on 174.
Bradley Ryder (2-12) and Harrison King (2-15) both took a pair of wickets in Parramatta’s excellent bowling performance.
Parramatta v Northern District scorecard
Manly-Warringah travelled to Killara Oval to take on Gordon in the other semi-final match.
Gordon’s batting struggled from the onset slipping to 3-24. Tanvir Singh (24) and captain Jordan Hayes (30) got the home side near the 100 mark.
Joel Davies (2-24) struck twice to expose the lower-order with the score on 6-94.
A brilliant spell of bowling from Luke Morley wiped out the remaining four wickets in quick time. Morley doubled his season’s wicket tally claiming 4-6 from 3.2 overs to end Gordon’s innings in the 37th over and set 130 runs for victory.
Manly-Warringah’s confidence took a blow early when their leading run-scorer Jake Osborne was trapped in front on the first ball of the innings.
His opening partner followed him next over with Gordon’s two early wickets placing their opponents in an awkward position on 2-5.
Joel Davies (25) and Hilton Ovenden (35) looked in excellent touch from their quarter final performance, but neither were able to convert their starts.
Gordon’s bowlers lead by Jayllen Naganayagam (2-18) toiled hard regularly breaking partnerships, but wicket-keeper and captain Brynn Mendel’s 27 runs were enough for Manly-Warringah to topple second-placed Gordon and book their spot in the big dance.
Gordon v Manly scorecard.
Parramatta will hold the home-ground advantage in the AW Green Shield grand final as they take on Manly-Warringah at Merrylands Oval on January 26.
The home side will have a slight edge over their rivals on the big occasion. These two teams met in round two of the competition and Parramatta ran away with a convincing 62 run victory.
Parramatta’s form has been on song from the opening round of the competition, winning all their matches with relative ease.
Manly-Warringah enters the final on a five-game winning streak, with the added benefit of defeated a team placed higher than them in the semi-final.
The Final will be played on Australia Day at Merrylands Oval with play set to commence at 10:00am.