Eastern Suburbs third-grade captain Mark Morley led from the front with a spectacular 173 against Sydney on day one of round 13 in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition.
Morley wasted no time in the middle accumulating his imposing total from just 152 deliveries striking 17 boundaries and seven sixes against Sydney’s attack at Birchgrove Oval.
It could prove to be a pivotal moment in the season for both teams as they battle it out for a spot in the finals.
Morley came agonisingly close to being unbeaten at the close of play until he was run out in the dying stages, but he will be satisfied with his side’s total of 300 that will be very tough to beat.
The local rivalry between Sydney University and UNSW produced this week’s bowling highlight.
With bragging rights on the line, Sydney University’s Joshua Toyer made light work of the middle and lower order taking five of the last six wickets to finish the innings with 7-45 from 15.4 overs.
UNSW managed to muster 178 with the bat and they are already enjoying their own success with the ball taking 4-40 in the final 17 overs of the day to take the upper hand leading into day two.
North Sydney’s Darryl Hands bowled one of the spells of the season against Fairfield-Liverpool in fourth-grade at Fairfield Oval.
Fairfield-Liverpool’s innings fell to pieces losing 8-9 as Hands ripped through the batting line-up taking a miraculous 6-7 from 8.3 overs.
Hands will be asking plenty of questions of his captain during the week having only bowled one over this season where he took 1-1 against Eastern Suburbs in third-grade back in round four.
Penrith’s Waledahmed Nadeem was another bowler to take six wickets on day one.
Nadeem took 6-43 in his fifth-grade match against Western Suburbs to dismiss the visitors for 113. His efforts allowed his side to claim first innings points on the day and will have one eye towards maximising their result on day two.
North Sydney also has a batsman featuring in this week’s individual highlights.
Tim Reynolds scored an unbeaten 138 against Fairfield-Liverpool at Rosedale Oval. Joining the action with his side on 4-72, Reynolds together with Bennett Walsh (56) put on a 125 run fifth-wicket partnership to get the visitors to 5-197.
Despite Walsh’s departure, Reynolds continued his form with Joshua Joseph (46) as the pair lifted North Sydney to 6-283.
Reynolds finished the day strongly to get his side to 7-322.
Fairfield-Liverpool’s Damien Aviet was the only bowler to contain North Sydney’s batsmen taking 5-87 in his 30 overs, which included nine maidens.
Morley’s Eastern Suburbs teammate Udit Mehta made a vital century in second-grade to get his side out of trouble early in their innings against Sydney at Trumper Park.
At 4-22 Eastern Suburbs were in desperate need of a batsman step up and Mehta did just that. Mehta’s patient 100 came from 178 deliveries hitting five fours and a six as he almost single-handedly got his side to 220.
Hawkesbury’s fourth-grade side would have enjoyed their trip home from Sutherland after having a big day out at Sutherland Oval.
Ethan Franke was in top flight taking 5-6 from 14 overs. Rowen Myers was just as destructive taking 4-13 from seven overs as the bowling duo removed Sutherland for a measly total of 34 in the 30th over.
Hawkesbury finished the day on 8-156 to take a 122 run lead heading into day two.
Five other bowlers managed to take five wickets on the opening day of round 13. In second-grade Blacktown’s Tony Clark (5-29) took his fourth five-wicket haul for the season along with Western Suburbs’ Sam Pararajasingham who took 5-35 against Penrith. Ammar Shirazi joined fellow teammate Darryl Hands on North Sydney’s honour boards with 5-21 in third-grade. Penrith’s Pete Gregersen claimed 5-33 in fourth-grade while Rashad Rizme picked up 5-30 from 21 overs for Sydney in fifth-grade.
Round 13 of the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket Competition will continue on Saturday with play beginning at 10:30 am for second-grade and 12:15 pm for the third, fourth, and fifth grades.