Test match opening batsman David Warner was back to his brutal and brilliant best during his return to McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket for Randwick Petersham on Saturday among several brilliant performances during the first round of limited-overs fixtures.
In an opening round that featured six current or former Australian Test cricketers including international super star Steve Smith, Warner hit 155 not out from 152 balls for Randwick Petersham in its final ball win against St George. He scored one of 10 centuries across the 10 matches in the first round.
The Warner century was made all the more impressive by the fact it came against an attack that included current Australian and Blues opening bowler Josh Hazlewood (1-30), and former Test seamer, and NSW team mate, Trent Copeland (1-31).
Hazlewood and fellow Australian and Blues fast bowler Pat Cummins, who claimed 2-12 from six overs for Penrith in its 227-run win over Hawkesbury, are both aiming to be fit for the Blues final JLT One-Day Cup matches in October.
Warner single-handedly steered Randwick Petersham to a four-wicket win as it chased down 278 for victory. It was his ninth century in his 100th First Grade innings since his maiden First Grade match in 2003.
Smith fell just short of his ninth First Grade century in his return to McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket. He made 85 from 92 balls for Sutherland in its three-wicket loss to Mosman.
Cummins provided the perfect complement for the Panthers bowling attack that dismissed Hawkesbury for 84 in defence of 5/311.
A 195-run partnership between Blues duo batsman Ryan Gibson (125) and rookie Ryan Hackney (103) provided the perfect platform for the win. Former Blues quick and Brisbane Heat left-arm paceman Josh Lalor (2-8) was also amongst the wickets. Luke Hodges took best figures of 3/1 from 1.3 overs.
Former Australian Test opening batsman Ed Cowan showed his flair for Sydney University in its commanding 144-run win over Manly-Warringah at University Oval. He top-scored for the students with 69 from 57 balls.
Emerging batsman Blake Macdonald (104) showed he was undeterred by the big occasion of the blockbuster match between St George and Randwick Petersham.
The Canberra product scored his second First Grade century in just his 18th First Grade match and second season for St George on Saturday. The 20-year-old posted 719 runs at a tick over 41 in his debut campaign last season.
Macdonald shared a 176-run second-wicket partnership with allrounder Nick Stapleton (108), who commenced this season the same way he finished last.
In the last round of the 2017/18 McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket campaign before the finals, he made 112 not out against Western Suburbs.
Like Macdonald, Basil Sellers Scholar Lachlan Hearne was equally undaunted on a grand stage at Glenn McGrath Oval. His crucial 59 not out from 72 balls showed composure beyond his 17 years of age to navigate Mosman to a surprise victory.
Promising left-arm quick from the Hunter region, Greg West, collected 4-28 from 10 overs for the Whales. Blues leg-spinner Daniel Fallins returned 3-32 from 10 overs for Sutherland.
Leading run-scorer in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket during 2017/18, Bankstown opener Daniel Solway, picked up where he left off last season with yet another century to open the new campaign.
The right-hander scored 118 not out from 159 balls to guide Bankstown to a five-wicket victory against a Gordon bowling line-up that featured Blues seamer Charlie Stobo (2-53). It was the seventh ton for Solway in the last 12 months.
Gordon opener Axel Cahlin made 116 from as many balls in his team’s loss.
North Sydney off-season recruit Adam Crosthwaite, who made the move from Manly-Warringah during the off-season, made the second highest score of the round when he scored 126 not out from 124 balls in a five-wicket win over Blacktown.
His ton on Saturday meant Crosthwaite has scored at least one century in each of the nine consecutive seasons since beginning his NSW Premier Cricket career back in 2009/10. He has 16 centuries to his name overall.
Blues rookie and Blacktown captain Jordan Gauci posted 110 for the beaten side in his maiden First Grade match for the club since 2013/14.
Former NSW Blues wicketkeeper, batsman Daniel Smith became the 44th player to reach 9,000 runs in Premier Cricket during his side’s 127-run win over Western Suburbs.
Smith scored 27 on Saturday to take him to 9,006 career runs at 35.73 including 21 centuries. Opening bowler Alex Glendenning claimed 4-33 for Sydney, as the visitors dismissed Wests for 132 in defence of 8/259.
An unbeaten century to David Lowery (100 not out) was instrumental for Northern District in its 102-run win over Fairfield-Liverpool, who possessed Blues quick men, Liam Hatcher (1-53) and rookie Chad Sammut (1-67), and Sheffield Shield debutant for NSW last season, Param Uppal (13).
Parramatta started their title defence in positive fashion with a solid five-wicket victory over Eastern Suburbs at Old Kings Oval.
Skipper of the defending champions and Blues batsman, Nick Bertus, scored a pivotal 66 from 113 balls in the low-scoring encounter.
UNSW started the season with a tight three-wicket win over minor premiers from last season, Campbelltown-Camden. Ghosts’ Jarrad Burke claimed 4-11 from his 10 overs in the losing side.
Round 1 - McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket:
Bankstown 5-271 (D Solway 118no N McAndrew 73 N Carruthers 49 C Stobo 2-53) bt Gordon 7-270 (A Cahlin 116 S O'Brien 66no T Crawford 26 R Williams 2-41) at Bankstown Oval;
North Sydney 5-242 (A Crosthwaite 126no R Aitken 37 B Bryant 37) bt Blacktown 6-238 (J Gauci 110 M Day 42 A Oberai 37 M Alexander 2-52) at Joe McAleer Reserve;
UNSW 7-121 (M Atallah 38 N Tanner 36no J Burke 4-11 I Carlisle 2-17) bt Campbelltown-Camden 118 (J Cormack 25 J Burke 24 M Carruthers 23 S Thanabalasingam 4-26 J Bennett 3-21) at Raby Oval;
Northern District 3-288 (D Lowery 100no D Anderson 67no T Felton 55 A Harriott 36) bt Fairfield-Liverpool 9-186 (H Sandhu 36 J Maher 30 W Delpechitra 28 L Hatcher 27 R Srivastava 21 C Taylor 4-44 T Felton 2-32 C Soper 2-33) at Rosedale Ovaal;
Parramatta 5-180 (N Bertus 66 B Cherry 60 L Dempsey 21no T Yazdani 2-33) bt Eastern Suburbs 9-178 (H Dalton 50 W Simpson 32 A Robson 26 B Holt 20 B Martin 3-21 B Taylor 2-27 L Lofts 2-37 L McNaught 2-47) at Old Kings Oval;
Penrith 5-311 (R Gibson 125 R Hackney 103 J DiBartolo 44 P Cummins 24 C Lawrence 2-56 A Van Den Nieuwboer 2-66) bt Hawkesbury 84 (K Gordon 32 J Wholohan 24 L Hodges 3-1 J Lalor 2-8 P Cummins 2-12 R Smith 2-23) with 1 bonus point at Howell Oval;
Randwick Petersham 6-278 (D Warner 155no A Sams 34 M Everett 23 P Francis 3-50) bt St George 6 -277 (N Stapleton 108 B Macdonald 104 D Singh 3-38) at Coogee Oval;
Mosman 7-239 (L Hearne 59no J Fawcett 47 S Rodgie 39 P Pisel 26 L Shelton 21 D Fallins 3-32 T Pinson 2-46) bt Sutherland 238 (S Smith 85 C Williams 47 J Biviano 37 G West 4-28 D Crawford 2-54 S Rodgie 2-55) at Glenn McGrath Oval;
Sydney University 7-277 (E Cowan 69 R McElduff 63 L Robertson 50 D Mortimer 38 N Craze 22 N Walker 20 M Visser 3-67) bt Manly-Warringah 133 (D Malone 4-35 B Joy 2-13 T Ley 2-25) with 1 bonus point at University Oval;
Sydney 8-259 (R Felsch 85 A Mosca 57 D Smith 27 B McClintock 26 J Shepherd 3-65 M Tudehope 2-56) bt Western Suburbs 132 (J Psarakis 37 J Hughes 27 J Cook 20 A Glendenning 4-33 B Mitchell 2-29) with 1 bonus point at Pratten Park.