Parramatta and Sydney University shared the honours at the end a tightly contested day one of the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket Grand Final at Bankstown Memorial Oval.
At the close of play, Parramatta finished 7/268 after it lost the wicket of captain Nick Bertus (85) just five overs before stumps to the bowling of Hayden Kerr (3-48), who was best of the bowlers for the students.
Adam Turrell (19 not out) and Scott Copperfield (7 not out) were the two unbeaten batsmen at the crease.
Blues paceman Sean Abbott was also excellent with bat in hand coming in at No. 5 for Parramatta. He peeled off 62 from 77 balls which included six boundaries and two sixes.
He was dismissed by the leg spin of former Blues team mate and top order batsman Ed Cowan (1-3).
Abbott shared a valuable 92-run fourth wicket stand with Bertus that guided Parramatta out of some early trouble.
It was 3/68 in the early part of the second session after Bertus had won the toss and elected to bat.
The second best partnership was 40 runs for the sixth wicket between Luke Dempsey (25) and Bertus.
Lawrence Neil-Smith was also key to the Sydney University attack. He picked up the key wickets of Tim Ward (1) and Brenton Cherry (25) early on.
Neil-Smith finished the day with the very economical figures of 2-31 from 18 overs.
Bertus batted almost the entire day’s play after he arrived at the crease with the score 1/3. His innings was full of resolve and determination. It lasted 222 deliveries and included only six fours.
An excellent catch by wicketkeeper Tim Cummins down the leg side removed the Parramatta skipper. It was the fourth catch of the day for the Sydney University gloveman.
Regular wickets throughout the day were key to Sydney University staying in the contest. Parramatta was unable to put together the big partnership it required to take complete control of the match.
In other grades, Manly-Warringah are 5/151 against Northern District at the end of day one of the Second Grade Grand Final at Mark Taylor Oval. Arshdeep Virdi is 47 not out for the visitors and Josh Miller (3-27) returned best figures for Northern District.
In the Third Grade Grand Final, Sydney University are 7/255 at stumps against Sydney. Charles Litchfield fell an agonising one run short of a century.
Manly-Warringah was bowled out for 159 after being sent in by Western Suburbs in the Fourth Grade Grand Final. Emmanuel Parmakellis (5-30) was the star performer for the Magpies. In reply, Wests are 3/72.
In the Fifth Grade decider, Manly-Warringah dismissed Parramatta for 134 with Dylan Marshall (5-25) bowling superbly for the visitors at Old Kings Oval. In reply, Manly is 3/80.
Play will resume tomorrow (Sunday) in all grades at 9.30am.