It took until the second last ball of the final game of the Kingsgrove Sports Twenty20 Cup preliminary rounds to arrive at the eight semi-finalists for 2020/21.
Chasing Randwick-Petersham's modest 121, Sutherland lost eight wickets en-route to securing a tense victory and the final play-off berth in the Sydney Sixers Conference.
Luckless UTS North Sydney temporarily had hold of that semi-final spot after beating Manly-Warringah, with Bears players keeping tabs on Sutherland's situation as they enjoyed a post-match beer on Manly Oval.
Sutherland join Sydney, UNSW and Gordon in the top four of the Sixers Conference.
Bankstown, Fairfield-Liverpool, Parramatta and Hawkesbury qualified in the Sydney Thunder Conference.
Sharks all-rounder Ben Dwarshuis proved the difference in his side's great escape against Randy Petes at Coogee Oval.
After taking 2-17 to keep the brakes on the Randwick-Petersham innings, Dwarshuis led from the front to dig his side out of a deep hole when it slumped to 5-18 early in the run chase.
The Sutherland captain kept his composure to re-build the wreckage, scoring an undefeated 58 from 45 balls and putting on a 62-run sixth wicket partnership with Ethan Deal (33), who was celebrating his 18th birthday.
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS from Coogee Oval
Dwarshuis, who will head into camp with the Sydney Sixers on Sunday, struck the winning runs from the penultimate ball of the match.
"It didn't look good at 5-18 but we knew we had plenty of time and weren't chasing a big total," he said.
"We were able to keep things ticking over without taking huge risks.
"Our bowlers did a good job early and Ethan batted really well to help get us out of a bit of trouble.
"Hopefully the boys can carry it on from here."
Hawkesbury started the day one point outside the Sydney Thunder Conference top four but finished it in third after beating Northern District in the first of a double header at Owen Earle Oval.
Parramatta tuned up for the finals by knocking over the Hawks in the afternoon match.
The innings of the day belonged to rising Manly and Sydney Thunder star Ollie Davies, who belted an undefeated 116 from just 56 balls in his side's comfortable win over St George in the first of the double header matches at Manly Oval.
The 20-year-old creamed nine fours and eight sixes as the Waratahs chased down 150 with almost five overs to spare.
The Sydney Sixers Conference semi-finals will see Sydney take on UNSW in a night match at Drummoyne Oval next Thursday, while Gordon play Sutherland.
Bankstown and Fairfield-Liverpool square off in one Sydney Thunder Conference semi, with Parramatta to host Hawkesbury.
Click here for all the scores in round 9 & 10 of the Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup
Next week's Conference semi-finalists
Sydney Sixers Conference
(1) Sydney v (4) UNSW at Drummoyne Oval (6.30pm, 10th Dec);
(2) Gordon v (3) Sutherland at Chatswood Oval (2.30pm, 6th Dec)
Sydney Thunder Conference
(1) Bankstown v (4) Fairfield-Liverpool at Bankstown Oval (2.30pm, 6th Dec);