Rd 2, day 2: Massive chases in 2s, 4s dominant

Another hundred was the highlight of day two of North Sydney's two-day clash with Bankstown, this time struck by 2nd grade skipper Glenn Aitken. With the Bears 6/245 chasing Bankstown's total of 411, GA stepped up and crashed boundaries to all parts of Bon Andrews, helping his side to win the game 8 down and remain undefeated. Elsewhere 4th grade registered a dominant win and 3rd grade pulled a draw out of a difficult situation. 1st grade were 9 minutes away from securing a draw with Bankstown, dismissed for 368 in pursuit of Bankstown's 423.

1st Grade (Bankstown 7/423 dec. def North Sydney 368)

The Bears resumed at 0/6 chasing Bankstown's 423, and regular top order wickets saw the Bears stumble to 3/104. Opener Ben Bryant stood firm and found a willing partner in James Newton, with the pair putting on 96 for the 4th wicket. However after the pair fell within 20 runs of each other, Bryant for 76 and Newton for 70, the Bears were unable to muster a significant partnership. Rob Aitken played well for 63, and Olly Knight hit a very positive 55*, but the Bears still found themselves about 60 runs short approaching the end of the day.

Unfortunately, they could not hold out for a share of the points, with the last wicket falling 9 minutes from the end of the day's play. Some good performances and lots of positives to take out of the round as 1st grade now look to their match this weekend against Manly as a chance to get on the board.

2nd Grade (North Sydney 8/415 def by Bankstown 9/411 dec.)

Resuming at 1/47, the Bears started positively with opener Adam Docos posting his second half-century of the season. In his maiden 2nd grade innings, young Adam Wigglesworth batted fantastically to make his way to 86. Yet regular wickets through the middle order saw the Bears 6/240, still 172 runs adrift of victory with only 4 wickets in hand. Captain Glenn Aitken stepped up to the plate, playing magnificently and with plenty of aggression to move the scoring along in partnerships with Josh Joseph, Will Graham and Pat Lindsay. In the end, the Bears passed Bankstown's total with 2 wickets still in hand to record a brilliant victory and remain undefeated heading into next weekend.

3rd Grade (Bankstown 8/289 drew North Sydney 290)

The Bears decided to bat on briefly on a very flat Jensen Park wicket, adding a couple of runs to their overnight score to finish on 290 with 75 overs left to play. An early wicket to Travis McKenna had the bulldogs in trouble, but barring Ben Knox removing the other opener with the score on 91, the running was all Bankstown. After tea, the Bulldogs started positively with skipper Ridley and Northern Territory under 17s representative Zeeshan Ahmed at the crease with the score at 2/202. Yet the Bears were not ready to give up yet, and 3 wickets to McKenna as well as a further wicket to Stewart lead to a collapse of 4/2, with the Bulldogs looking in trouble at 6/204. Yet on a flat wicket, defending was not difficult, and Bankstown put the brakes on. A runout and a further wicket to McKenna (who finished with 5/78) saw Bankstown 8 wickets down heading into the final over, needing 9 runs to win. In the end they only came away with 7 runs, and the Bears and Bulldogs split the points.

4th Grade (North Sydney 6/227 (dec) def Bankstown 136 & 5/74)

Resuming at 1/74, the Bears made light work of running down Bankstown's total thanks to a second consecutive half-century to Grant Jansson and an aggressive 53 from Simon Lang. At 6/227 and 91 runs in front of Bankstown's first innings total, skipper Lavery declared and lead the bowlers into the field in search of an outright victory. Not much happened with the new ball, but bowling first change Lavery took 4 wickets in his first two overs to have Bankstown 4/30, and a further wicket to Mano Mahadevan left the Bulldogs 5/50. Unfortunately no more wickets fell and Bankstown finished 5/74 - Lavery finished with 4/26 in the second innings and the Bears left with a dominant 6 points!

5th Grade (Bankstown 164 and 3/89 def North Sydney 200 and 52)

Bankstown resumed at 2/57 chasing the Bears total of 200, and when Anim Huq took 2 wickets without a run being added to the overnight score, things were looking bright for the Bears. There was some lower order resistance but the Bears finished off Bankstown for 164, Huq the pick of the bowlers with 4/46 and Green Shield quick Daniel Mooney taking 3/28. However there was plenty of time in the day, and unfortunately the young Bears batting lineup was already missing a man through injury. Bankstown rallied to roll through the Bears for 52, and then chased the defecit easily at 3/89. The first innings victory means that the points were split - 4 to the Bears, 6 to Bankstown, and those 4 points still have the Bears in the top 6 after their bonus point victory in the first round. A learning experience for all involved, as we move forward to next week. Special mention to Ben Bryant, Olly Knight and Niranjan Naguleswaran, who came down from 1st grade to help field for 5th grade over the course of the day.