Fairfield-Liverpool captain Harmon Sandhu has returned an extraordinary nine wickets in an innings on the second Saturday of round eight in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition.
Sandhu collected 9-54 from 22 overs to lead his side to a shock 125-run first innings win over ladder leaders heading into round eight, UNSW, at Rosedale Oval.
The Bumblebees were bowled out for just 99 in reply to 224 posted by their hosts.
A seamer like his brother, Sydney Thunder quick Gurinder Sandhu, the Fairfield-Liverpool skipper joined a select group of bowlers to claim nine wickets in an innings.
The feat has now been achieved 69 times since the Sydney First Grade competition began in 1893/94, but only six times since the 2000/01 season.
Sandhu narrowly missed the chance to become the fourth player to ever take all 10 wickets in an innings during a First Grade match when Blues rookie left-arm quick Chad Sammut claimed the final scalp.
The three previous occasions where a bowler has claimed 10 in an innings all occurred between 1930 and 1944.
Former NSW left-arm orthodox spinner Bill Hunt, who played one Test for Australia in 1932, was the first when he claimed 10-55 in 1930/31. NSW allrounder Vic Jackson returned 10-78 in 1937/38 and former Australian Test quick Morrie Sievers collected 10-42 during the 1943/44 season.
After Fairfield-Liverpool resumed on Saturday at 7/193, UNSW opening bowler Declan White took two wickets to also finish with a five-wicket haul at Rosedale Oval. He claimed 5-35 from 12.2 overs.
Fairfield-Liverpool enforced the follow-on late in the day, but UNSW survived the 13 overs before stumps. It finished at 0/55 with English opener Harry Brook 40 not out.
Super star International batsman Steve Smith made his first top grade century in nine seasons for Sutherland against St George on Saturday.
Smith made a magnificent 112 not out from as many balls and shared an unbeaten second wicket stand of 179 with Sutherland captain Chris Williams (65 not out) to guide their side to an emphatic nine-wicket first innings victory over the Saints.
The last time Smith scored a century in Premier Cricket was back in January 2010 when he made 134 not out against Mosman.
Smith also passed 4,000 First Grade runs at Hurstville Oval. He has now scored 4,034 at an average of 51.06.
It was the 11th year Sutherland and St George had competed for the Norm O’Neill Cup, named after the legendary Australian and NSW batsman, who played for both clubs. The men from the Shire claimed the trophy for a seventh time on Saturday.
St George resumed at 3/64, after a rain affected first Saturday and, added another 114 runs before it was bowled out. Sutherland quick Jake Wilson claimed career best figures of 6-42 from 16 overs.
It was also the second five-wicket haul for Wilson in First Grade.
Sutherland lost a wicket before a run was scored in response. Opener Jarryd Biviano departed third ball of the innings, however Smith and Williams staged a marvellous recovery to secure the win within 38 overs.
The upset win for Fairfield-Liverpool over UNSW was one of several surprising results on Saturday.
In defence of 169, reigning premiers Parramatta dismissed fellow top-six side, Randwick Petersham, for 113 to secure first innings points at Petersham Oval.
Parramatta opening bowler Bradley Taylor claimed the outstanding figures of 5-19 from 16 overs including eight maidens.
The previous Saturday, Parramatta captain Nick Bertus, made a tremendous 101 from 179 deliveries that ultimately proved the difference in the low-scoring encounter. The next top score was 14.
Experienced Randwick Petersham seamer Adam Semple collected 4-36 in the first innings to take him past 300 First Grade wickets. He now has 301 scalps to his name at 23.3.
In the other shock of round eight, Western Suburbs bowled out Penrith for 117, in defence of 151, to claim first innings points at Pratten Park. The Panthers were second leading into round eight.
Wests finished 2/70 in their second innings before stumps was called.
Blues right-arm quick Harry Conway also picked up five wickets for his club, Eastern Suburbs, at Waverley Oval.
In a losing side, Conway claimed 5-46 from 22 overs. Easts went down by 151 runs to UTS North Sydney on the first innings.
The hosts were bowled out for 144 in reply to 9/295 declared made by Norths. Adam Crosthwaite was crucial in the win for the visitors. He made 81 from 176 balls at No. 3.
The innings moved Crosthwaite to 775 runs for the season at 70.5.
Gordon top-order batsman Harry Evans made his 10th First Grade century against Sydney at Chatswood Oval, however, it was not enough for the first innings win.
Evans made 109 from 194 balls in a total of 9/324 declared after the home side resumed the second Saturday at 3/178.
In reply, Sydney chased down the Gordon total with one wicket in hand. Centurion Anthony Mosca (104) and opener Matthew Rodgers (61) shared a pivotal 150-run second wicket partnership in the win.
Despite a late collapse, that saw the Tigers lose 6/58, Sydney finished at 9/325.
Scott O’Brien almost bowled Gordon to victory. He collected 5-90.
A brilliant 148 from 222 balls by Campbelltown-Camden captain Philip Wells was crucial to the Ghosts capturing first innings points at Owen Earle Oval.
In reply to 9/359 declared posted by Hawkesbury, Campbelltown-Camden secured victory with less than three overs left in the scheduled day’s play.
Wells shared a pivotal 115-run seventh wicket partnership with Luke Webb (73 not out) in the win.
The Campbelltown-Camden skipper also added 107 for the third wicket with wicketkeeper-batsman Oliver Robinson (57). Wells hit 12 fours and two sixes during his match-winning knock.
Sydney University went to the top of the table, one point clear of UNSW and Sydney, with a three-wicket first innings win over Mosman at University Oval.
Opener Ryan McElduff (86) top-scored for the students as they tracked down 210 for the victory. Sydney University resumed at 0/36 on Saturday and claimed the points seven wickets down.
In the other matches, Bankstown drew with Blacktown and Northern District likewise shared the points with Manly-Warringah.
No play took place in either match on the second Saturday.
The McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition now pauses for the Christmas break and will resume on January 12.
McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket:
First Grade – Round 8:
Bankstown 4-66 (N Carruthers 34no M Waite 23 G Hara 2-11 S Irshad 2-23) drew Blacktown (no play Day 2) at Joe McAleer Reserve,
UTS North Sydney 9-295 (A Crosthwaite 81 R Van Kemenade 50 J Campbell 42no J Crosthwaite 34 M Alexander 32 T Jagot 22 H Conway 5-46) bt Eastern Suburbs 144 (S Robson 32 T Armstrong 28 A Robson 26 J Aitken 3-9 T Lester 3-68 R Aitken 2-12 M Alexander 2-21) at Waverley Oval,
Fairfield-Liverpool 224 (P Uppal 66 W Delpechitra 42 Z Johns 38 D White 5-35 J Bennett 3-51) bt UNSW 99 (M Atallah 24 H Sandhu 9-54) and 0-55 (H Brook 40no) at Rosedale Oval,
Sydney 9-325 (A Mosca 104 M Rodgers 61 N Bills 46no Z Crawley 33 S Eskinazi 23 L Scott 22 S O'Brien 5-90 A Patterson 2-73) bt Gordon 9(dec)-324 (H Evans 109 S Colley 84 E Richtor 50 L Barnsley 26 B Manenti 4-72 N Bills 3-95) at Chatswood Oval,
Campbelltown-Camden 8-360 (P Wells 148 L Webb 73no O Robinson 57 J Simmons 24 C Lawrence 4-78 A Van Den Nieuwboer 2-46 J Wholohan 2-70) bt Hawkesbury 9(dec)-359 (P Forrest 72 T Wilson 68 D Mckay 57 R Mizzi 57 K Gordon 32 J Wholohan 29 N Baker 5-84 L Webb 2-94) at Owen Earle Oval,
Northern District 1-9 drew Manly-Warringah (no play Day 2) at Mark Taylor Oval,
Parramatta 169 (N Bertus 101 A Semple 4-36 D Bell-Drummond 3-19 D Singh 2-24) bt Randwick Petersham 113 (R Ayre 21 M Calder 20 B Taylor 5-19 J White 2-25 B Martin 2-44) at Petersham Oval,
Sutherland 1-179 (S Smith 112no C Williams 65no) bt St George 178 (P Francis 36 N Stapleton 30 J Rose 26 A Whatley 24 M Gray 22 J Wilson 6-42 T Pinson 2-18) at Hurstville Oval,
Sydney University 7-210 (R McElduff 86 B Trevor-Jones 28 D Holloway 20 L Shelton 4-62 J Park 2-67) bt Mosman 209 (A Doolan 49 D Crawford 36 A Adlam 33 J Fawcett 25 D Malone 5-55 D Holloway 2-52) at University Oval,
Western Suburbs 151 (J Psarakis 49 I Taylor 28 J Hughes 25no L Hodges 5-23 R Smith 3-52) and 2-70 (N Cutler 37no A Isherwood 21no R Smith 2-42) bt Penrith 117 (B Atherton 44no T Liddiard 25 Q Titterton 3-22 H Rauf 3-56 M Tudehope 2-29) at Pratten Park.