UNSW are currently one point clear on the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket ladder leading into the final round before Christmas starting this Saturday.
The Bumblebees meet Fairfield-Liverpool over the next two Saturdays during round eight. UNSW are undefeated this season with five wins and two draws.
Top-order batsman for ACT/NSW Country in the Toyota Futures League, Matt Gilkes, is a key player for the Bees. He is the leading run-scorer for UNSW this season with 543 runs at an average of just under 50.
He has also made 323 runs from four matches at a similar average in the Futures League.
Fairfield-Liverpool have named Blues allrounder Param Uppal and rookie left-arm quick Chad Sammut in its squad for the fixture.
St George and Sutherland lock horns twice this weekend. Firstly, the two teams start the 10th edition of the Norman O’Neill Cup, named in honour of the former great Australian and NSW batsman, who played for both clubs.
Sutherland are the current holders of the Norm O’Neill Cup. It has won the trophy six times.
St George captain Nick Stapleton will play his 150th First Grade match in the fixture at Hurstville Oval starting on Saturday.
The local rivals meet again on Sunday in the Sydney Sixers Conference final of the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup at the SCG.
World class batsman Steve Smith will feature for Sutherland in both matches and captains the side on Sunday.
Notably, Smith has pouched 13 catches in 12 matches for Sutherland this season.
Blues leg-spinner and leading wicket taker for Sutherland in Premier Cricket this season, Dan Fallins, has also been named in the squad for both Saturday and Sunday.
Fallins has collected 29 scalps at the impressive average of 17.48 including three five-wicket hauls.
Bankstown left-arm orthodox spinner Ben Taylor is the leading wicket taker. He has claimed 31wickets at 16.1. His side meets Blacktown in round eight.
Penrith are currently second on the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket ladder one point behind UNSW. The Panthers play Western Suburbs at Pratten Park in round eight.
Panthers captain Ryan Smith is the leading quick in Premier Cricket this season with 27 wickets to his name at 18.59 including two five-wicket hauls.
A further point behind Penrith, in third on the table, is Randwick Petersham. Super star batsman David Warner has been in typically dynamic form so far this campaign.
Warner is the leading run-scorer across all formats. He has made 786 runs at 78.6.
His season’s tally includes two centuries and six fifties. Randwick Petersham face the sixth-placed Parramatta in a crucial clash at Petersham Oval over the next two Saturdays.
NSW Blues batsman and Parramatta captain, Nick Bertus, is the second leading run-scorer in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket behind Warner.
Bertus has amassed 701 runs at 87.62 with a highest score of 140. He has also claimed 19 dismissals behind the stumps including 17 catches and two stumpings.
Sydney gloveman Beau McClintock is the top of the list for leading dismissals. He has snared 17 catches and completed seven stumpings.
The fifth-placed Sydney take on Gordon at Chatswood Oval.
Former Australian One-Day International and Blues batsman, Peter Forrest, leads Hawkesbury against Campbelltown-Camden over the next two Saturdays, after an upset victory over Sydney University last weekend.
Forrest has passed 50 three times in his last four visits to the crease including a tremendous 164 not out in the 166-run first innings win over the students.
Northern District meet Manly-Warringah at Mark Taylor Oval. Blues rookie right-arm quick Ryan Hadley has been named in the visitors’ squad.
In other matches, the fourth-placed Sydney University are at home to Mosman and Eastern Suburbs host UTS North Sydney.
MCDONALD'S NSW PREMIER CRICKET
FIRST GRADE TEAMS:
10.30am Saturdays 15 & 22 December 2018.
Blacktown v Bankstown at Joe McAleer Reserve.
Bankstown: Michael Stretton (c), Benjamin Taylor, Mitch Brown, Rhys Williams, Daniel Solway, Brendan Smith, Kyle Brockley, Nick Carruthers, Matthew Waite, Chris Ridley, Liam Marshall, Ben Le Bas.
Eastern Suburbs v UTS North Sydney at Waverley Oval.
Eastern Suburbs: TBA
UTS North Sydney: Thomas Jagot (c), Adam Crosthwaite, James Crosthwaite, Robert Aitken, Ryan Van Kemenade, Benjamin Bryant, Matthew Alexander, James Campbell, Toby Lester, James Aitken, Jake Hardy.
Fairfield-Liverpool v UNSW at Rosedale Oval.
Fairfield-Liverpool: Harmon Sandhu (c), Raveesh Srivastava, Yuvraj Sharma, Wendel Delpechitra, Zach Johns, Chad Sammut, Jeremy Maher, Luke Ohrynowsky, Jeremy Cashman, Kazi Szymanski, Param Uppal.
UNSW: David Dawson (c), William Wolter, Joseph Byrnes, Harry Brook, Connor Jackson, Marcus Atallah, Tahmidul Islam, Suthangan Thanabalasingam, Hayden McLean, Declan White, Joshua Bennett.
Gordon v Sydney at Chatswood Oval.
Gordon: Steve Colley (c), Axel Cahlin, Cameron Eccles, Lachlan Barnsley, Harry Evans, Elliot Richtor, Scott O'Brien, Max Newman, Matthew Junk, Alex Patterson, Ashwin Premkumar, Glenn Winsor.
Sydney: Daniel Smith (c), Matthew Rodgers, Liam Scott, Zak Crawley, Anthony Mosca, Stephen Eskinazi, Benjamin Manenti, Beau McClintock, Ryan Felsch, Nathan Sowter, Nicholas Bills.
Hawkesbury v Campbelltown-Camden at Owen Earle Oval.
Hawkesbury: Peter Forrest (c), Chris Lawrence, Pat Lawrence, Aidan Van Den Nieuwboer, Joshua Clarke, Dale Mckay, Timothy Wilson, Ryan Mizzi, Kerrod Gordon, Jake Wholohan, Nivethan Radhakrishnan.
Northern District v Manly-Warringah at Mark Taylor Oval.
Northern District: Ben Davis (c), Nathan Smith, Nic Badings, Tom Felton, David Lowery, Clayton Waters, Daniel Anderson, John Anderson, Charles Taylor, Christopher Wright, Chad Soper.
Manly-Warringah: Cameron Merchant (c), Ryan Farrell, Logan Weston, Michael Visser, Oliver Davies, Jake Carden, Ryan Hadley, Joel Foster, Joseph Graham, Sam Webber, Elliott Herd.
Randwick Petersham v Parramatta at Petersham Oval.
Randwick Petersham: Anthony Sams (c), Jason Ralston, David Warner, Soumil Chhibber, Adam Semple, Daya Singh, Riley Ayre, Daniel Bell-Drummond, Jamie Hemphrey, Matthew Calder, Dylan Hunter.
Parramatta: Nicholas Bertus (c), William Affleck, Ben Abbott, Liam O'Farrell, Brenton Cherry, Luke Dempsey, Adam Turrell, Bradley Taylor, Jack White, Ben Martin, Liam Lofts, Scott Copperfield.
St George v Sutherland at Hurstville Oval.
St George: Nicholas Stapleton (c), Blake Nikitaras, Matthew Hopkins, Eric Denhartog, Thomas Ortiz, Peter Francis, Mitchell Gray, Luke Bartier, Jonathan Rose, Adam Whatley, Tom Engelbrecht.
Sutherland: Chris Williams (c), Aiden Bariol, Steven Smith, Flynn Parker, Jamie Brown, Jayden Brown, Jarryd Biviano, Tom Doyle, Daniel Fallins, Austin Waugh, Tom Pinson.
Sydney University v Mosman at University Oval.
Sydney University: Liam Robertson (c), Ben Trevor-Jones, Ryan McElduff, Damien Mortimer, Hayden Kerr, Nicholas Walker, Tim Cummins, Dugald Holloway, Joe Kershaw, Charlie Cassell, Devlin Malone.
Mosman: Ashley Doolan (c), Jake Fawcett, Jayden Park, Luke Shelton, Lachlan Hearne, Patrick Pisel, Dean Crawford, Anthony Adlam, Jake Turner, Nathan Hinton, Jordan Thompson.
Western Suburbs v Penrith at Pratten Park.
Western Suburbs: James Psarakis (c), Isaac Taylor, Joel Abraham, Nicholas Cutler, Adrian Isherwood, Thomas Burt, Jason Hughes, Samuel McMahon, Haris Rauf, Quincy Titterton, Michael Tudehope.
Penrith: Ryan Smith (c), Brent Williams, Luke Hodges, Tyran Liddiard, Chris Withers, Trent Weir, John DiBartolo, Michael Collins, Cameron Weir, Tom Sargeant, Brent Atherton.