Rd 13, day 1: Bears strike early blows on Lions

A strong showing from the Bears against Fairfield-Liverpool has all grades in the hunt. In dominant displays, 3rd and 4th grade have already brought up first innings wins on the back of 5/21 to Ammar Shirazi and 6/7 to Darryl Hands. A brilliant unbeaten 138 to young gun Tim Reynolds has the Bears sitting on 7/322 in 2nd grade, while James Campbell's 4/34 helped 1st grade to dismiss the Lions for 282. Down at Tunks, 5th grade will be looking at a large chase next week after dismissing Fairfield-Liverpool for 277.

1st Grade (North Sydney 0/22 vs. Fairfield Liverpool 282)

A strong fight back from 1st grade left the bears on top after day 1 at North Sydney Oval. Another surprisingly green deck was rolled out with captain Justin Avendano finally winning a toss and electing to bowl.

Two early snicks from the bowling of James ‘Strawberry Lime’ Campbell, had Fairfield at 2-15. A few partnerships and some dismal fielding on a below par outfield saw Fairfield at 4/215 with a patient 120 to grade cricket veteran Anthony Clarke. However, clumps of wickets and some perseverance kept the Bears in the game with Fairfield-Liverpool eventually all out 282. Jim Campbell lead the attack to finish with 4/34 off 19, by far our most consistent bowler this season. Robert ‘Frost’ Aitken returned from a finger injury claiming 2/58 off 18 in one of the great spells. Adam ‘Barto’ Barton displayed some true grit and premium reverse tango to grab himself 2 poles also. Knight and Naguleswaren also chipped in with a wicket each. Keeper James ‘SinglIMG_0536 (2)eton’ Newton grabbed 4 sharp nicksvilles (catches) behind the stumps as well as some other handy catching from Thomas Jagot’s chest and Ryan Van Kemenade. All in all one of our better bowling performances to restrict Fairfield to a chaseable total.

With 6 overs in the day left to bat, Niranjan ‘bars’ Naguleswaran and Anjan ‘fiery’ Oberai negotiated a tough period to survive some quick bowling from Liam Hatcher and Harmon Sandhu and finish 0/22. With 262 to chase next week, the Bears will remain positive and look to get another win on the board before the 2017/18 season concludes. Special mentions to Ryan Dad, Trevor who nearly died from the sight screen falling off its rails, causing a lengthy delay.

-Olly Knight

2nd Grade (Fairfield Liverpool vs. North Sydney 7/322)

We are fortunate enough to have two match reports from 2nd grade this week. It's fair to say they exhibit contrasting styles.

After two heavy defeats 2s made the journey out to Warwick Farm to Rosedale Oval. An evening storm had removed part of the covers and a delayed start was a formality with a significant damp area at one end of the square. Play commenced earlier than expected at 11:15am with no overs lost and the Bears batting with skipper Guthrie calling correctly.

Docos and Barber negotiated the first hour safely however Docs fell in the 2nd for 24 and at lunch the Bears were 1/50. A little wobble after lunch had the Bears 4/72 however Bennett and Tim steadied the ship and took us to 4/197 before Bennett was dismissed for 56. Tim and JJ then cashed in on some tiring bowlers and lifted the scoring rate in the last session.

Tim brought up his first ton for the bears - an impressive knock with some big bombs, good running between the wickets and watchful defence. He was a class above and finished the day 138* with Bears in a strong position at 7/322.

-Pat Lindsay

Barbs blunted the attack with Docos, even though Docos attempted to put Barbs on the Matador BBQ. Rafa looked effortless till he decided he was playing Big Bash. Glenn Aitken also decided he wanted to hit a maximum at the ground where you want to hit 6's cause the boundaries are so large they can match the ego after puffing the chest - David Guthrie's only ground to not have a maximum next to his name. Bennett is just private school kid in a battler's body and played an intelligent knock. Joshua Joseph pulled him self to a 40 odd with pull shots Ricky Ponting would have put on his pornhub most searched. The chat was decent from the sidelines all day and Timbo Reynolds made sure we got past 300 and with red ink to finish. Declan left the last ball of the day showing them they had not defeated us and never will.

-Anonymous

3rd Grade (North Sydney 2/157 vs. Fairfield-Liverpool 134)

After winning the toss and electing to bowl, the Bears dominated early, with quick wickets between Travis Mckenna and Harjit Singh seeing Fairfield reeling at 3/25. A partnership between Fairfield’s number 3 and 5 batsmen saw them to 3/103 before Green Shield Captain Ammar Shirazi took wicket after wicket with sharp turn and bounce, skittling the opposition for 134, losing 7 wickets for 31 runs, Ammar finishing with figures of 5/21. The fielding effort from the Bears was superb, with not a single chance put down, and some excellent keeping from Anmol Singh, who helped himself to 4 catches behind the stumps.

With the Bears still having 34 overs left in the day to bat, openers Anmol Singh and Grant Jansson got into the swing of things, Grant late cutting his way through the slips cordon for an entertaining 32 off 44, with an even more entertaining send off. The departure of Jansson saw Adam Wigglesworth to the crease, he and Anmol putting on 81 runs between them before Wigglesworth fell chasing quick runs, trying to pass Fairfield’s total before the end of the day. Lachlan Ste27788432_10155533786438253_5885106022842757382_o (wart found himself facing up at the crease rather than the car park, but punched and slammed his way to a quick 21* off 13 balls, with Anmol also driving his way to a great 56*. The Bears finished their dominant day with a lead of 23 with 8 wickets in hand, looking to put their foot down next week for an outright win.

-Ben Knox

4th Grade (Fairfield-Liverpool 105 vs. North Sydney 2/142)

In 4th grade skipper Chris Lloyd lost the toss at Fairfield Oval, meaning the Bears were asked to field first in fairly good batting conditions at Fairfield Oval. An early wicket to Gurnoor Singh, and some quality bowling by Rashedul Hasan to dismiss a second Fairfield batsmen, were two shining lights in a challenging opening session. However, the Bears stayed in the fight by restricting Fairfield to just 89 runs, despite the loss of just two wickets by tea. After the interval, some brilliant bowling by Gurnoor (3-20) and Darryl Hands decimated the home side to be all out for 105, after a dramatic collapse of 8-16 at the hands of a special North Sydney bowling and fielding effort. Commonly donning the wicketkeeping gloves, Darryl was a fairly unusual sight at the bowling crease, making his figures of 6-7 from 9 overs including 6 maidens an especially extraordinary feat.

Setting about to win the game with 25 overs remaining in the day, the runs came thick and fast, with wicketkeeper batsmen James Leary the star with a rapid 88 not out, along with some lusty blows by Simon Lang (23 not out) helping the Bears finish on 2-142, and take a substantial lead, along with the opportunity to convert 6 points into 10 next week.

-Nuwan Whyte

5th Grade (North Sydney 0/4 vs. Fairfield-Liverpool 277)

The 10th of February saw a young 5th grade side take on Fairfield-Liverpool down at Tunks. The toss was made and Fairfield looked to have a bat early under some warm cloud cover. Fairfield passed 60, quickly followed by the first wicket. Izaak Melerhan followed suit claiming the second wicket via some outrageous outfield work by young Adam Cavenor. Cav then proved it was not just luck, claiming the 3rd wicket with another fantastic catch off the bowling of Vohra to have them 3/86. A partnership mounted and soon the boys found themselves looking at 3/145. Tomohawk claimed a 2nd wicket on the whistle of tea to bring them back in the game, 4/150. A tough session after tea saw them mount 6/260 and we were staring down a big total, but the spinners bogged them down and some cheeky run-outs saw Fairfield fold their cards for 277.

Young Finn and Sol were sent in to face out the final 7 overs of the day, and that they did, finishing the day 0/4. The boys worked hard through some tough periods and with a great final session fightback, put themselves back in the game. Tunks is never a ground to underestimate, with some lads putting in the hard yards, anything is possible.

-Tom Hawkins