Round 1 Wrap vs Bankstown

Round 1 UTS North Sydney vs Bankstown

1st Grade UTS North Sydney vs Bankstown at Bankstown Oval

UTS North Sydney 226 (J Avendano 60, T Jagot 42, B Bryant 30, J Campbell 27* T Reynolds 26) def by Bankstown 227 (M Alexander 7/38, W Graham 2/51)

Round 1 MA bowled

Matt Alexander has achieved the club’s best bowling figures for North Sydney vs Bankstown, beating current 2nd Grade captain Glenn Aitken (7/66 in 2005-06). His 7/38 is the best limited overs bowling figures in the history of the North Sydney club (beating Darren Wotherspoon 6/30 in 2001-02) and the joint tenth best limited-overs figures in NSW Premier Cricket history.

Unfortunately, Matt’s brilliant bowling performance was not enough to secure victory in the first game of the season as the Bears fell agonisingly short by 1 run. His did secure the 3 points in the Access RnD Bradman Medal race as well as the Mario's Pizza player of the round for round 1.

On a cool but sunny morning, Bankstown won the toss and elected to bat on a dry Bankstown Oval pitch. After a tight start from James Campbell and Will Graham, Alexander was injected into the game snaring the 1st wicket in his 4th over to have Bankstown 1/57 off 14. Graham (2/51) bowled Solway in the 18th over and Bankstown were 2/63.  Justin Avendano took a great catch in the covers off James Aitken to get rid of Fawcett – Bankstown 3/99 off 26. Three of the next four wickets were taken caught behind the stumps by Max Papworth, who made his club debut in first grade with cap no:667. Brown (79) and Dignam (36) combined for a 74 run partnership before Graham grabbed his second wicket, leaving Bankstown 5/190, with eight overs to go. Enter, Matt Alexander, who first dismissed Brown and then destroyed the tail, taking 4 wickets in 10 balls in the 48th and 50th overs.  Bankstown all out 227. 

Round 1 JA swingThe run chase started well for the Bears with Ben Bryant (30) and Tom Jagot (42) putting on 66 runs in the first 20 overs for the first wicket. Avendano entered the crease, hitting plenty of singles and keeping the run chase on track. However, as the pitch got slower runs dried up. At 4/113 the Bears needed 115 from the final 15 overs. Avendano combined with youngster Tim Reynolds (26), who achieved his highest first grade score to date. When Avendano fell for 60, the Bears required 54 runs off 38 balls. A quickfire 41 run partnership of 28 balls between Campbell and Papworth, gave the boys a sniff. With 9 wickets down Graham strode to the crease starting with a four, leaving 9 to win off the final over. With 2 balls left it was 5 to win, but Campbell could only get a single leaving Graham on strike. The final ball was struck into the deep on the off side, two runs were completed and Graham was run out attempting a third that was never there but would have tied the game. It was a cracking game, but the Bears lost by an agonizing 1 run.

2nd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Bankstown at Tunks Park

UTS North Sydney 6/208 (G Aitken 86* B Hardy 71, JN James 25) def Bankstown 9/204 (JN James 2/31, AA Shaikh 2/36, M Jenkins 2/40).

The first game of the season for second grade was played at picturesque Tunks Oval. The wicket had a nice coverage of grass and looked to be a “Bernie special.”

The Bears won the toss and chose to bowl, hoping to extract a little early movement. Ali shaikh made the first breakthrough, blowing off the front pad of their opening batsman. However, their top order struck the ball well in excellent batting conditions to go at five and over for the first 15 overs.  

They were settling in for a big total until their young opener made a vital error just before the first drinks break by trying to sneak a cheeky single to mid off.  In fluid movement of athleticism and grace Niranjan Naguleswaran ran to his left hand, picked up the ball one handed and shattered the stumps at the bowlers end, leaving the batsman well short of his ground in one of the finest pieces of fielding and throwing ever seen. The runout signaled a momentum shift in the game.

This saw the introduction of spin bowling. The rest of the inning was to be dominated by a quartet of fingers spinners who strangled the game. Wickets fell at regular intervals from then on, as everyone bowled with great control and accuracy.

Jack James (2/31) and Mac Jenkins (2/40) grabbed two wickets each, with Sam Alexander (1/38) and Naguleswaran (1/22), claiming one. The only interruption to the spin was an injection of Ali Shaikh’s reverse swing, who finishing with 2/36.

On a flat wicket in perfect batting conditions the Bears bowling unit restricted Bankstown to 9/204 off 50 overs. A competitive, but well below par score. The door was open for a steady chase and an early win if the team could be disciplined in the chase.

Dane Heward from Bankstown bowled with good rhythm claiming 2 early wickets. James (25) and Broc Hardy (71) moved the team total to 50 in the 13th over. However, two quick wickets left UTS North Sydney at 4/54 in the 18th, needing a manageable 4 ½ an over to win so long as wickets were maintained.  Hardy, who hails from the Central Coast, made his club debut and road his luck to compile a match winning 136 run partnership with captain Glenn Aitken. Aitken finished with an unbeaten 86 hitting a four to secure the victory in the 47th over.

3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Bankstown at Kelso Park

UTS North Sydney 8/142 (C Lloyd 30, J Graham 28*) def by Bankstown 8/144 (F. May 3/44, N Whyte 2/32, B Knox 2/38).

The Bears batted first, getting off to a reasonable start, before J Malcolm knocked over both our openers in the 6th over. After 10 overs we were 3/25 and needed a partnership to get our innings back on track. Ray Alexander (18) and Chris Lloyd (30) combined for 44 valuable runs, but once again two wickets fell on 69. Jacob Graham fought hard and remained 28 not out. A score of 8/142 was below par, but something to bowl at.

A wicket to Fletcher May (3/44) in the first over of the bowling innings gave the team some hope. A second wicket in the 5th over reduced Bankstown to 2/14. When Nuwan Whyte (2/32) chimed in for a pole in the 10th it was 3/30 and game on. The bowling unit continued to knock over batsman and at 6/77 in the 21st over we were well ahead of our own batting performance 3/50 after the same number of overs. Although Graham and Ben Knox (2/38) grabbed two further wickets, the opposition passed our score 8 down in the 34th over. Some work on our batting will be needed for next week.

4th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Bankstown at Punchbowl Oval

UTS North Sydney 154 (GJ Holmes 45 F Nixon-Tomko 28) def by Bankstown 8/193 ( W Abbott 2/28, T Robson 2/31, S Vohra 2/40).

UTS North Sydney won the toss and elected to field first on Punchbowl Oval. Opening bowlers, Harrison May (1/29) and Tim Robson (2/31) bowled a lot of dot balls, building pressure and keeping the scoring rate of the opposition down. Robson took the first wicket, LBW in the 8th over to have Bankstown 1/19. Bankstown put together a few good partnerships as the captain tried several bowling changes. At 5/115 after 38, and wickets to Shivam Vohra (2/40) and Baran Kumar (1/18) the Bears looked to be in a good position. However, despite two wickets to Will Abbott (2/29), in his final two overs, the Bulldogs accelerated to score 75 runs from the last 10 overs and finish with 8/193.

In the run chase, the first wicket fell at 25 in the 7th over, but a steady partnership developed between Finn Nixon-Tomko (28) and Jake Holmes (45) and it wasn’t until the 26th over that Nixon-Tomko was out. At 2/59, UTS North Sydney required a further 135 runs from 24 overs and with the run rate required continuing to rise, wickets started to tumble as players went aerial. Most batsman got into double figures, but the regular loss of wickets did not provide any momentum for the team - eventually, dismissed after 47 overs for 154.

5th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Bankstown at Graeme Thomas Oval

5th Grade: UTS North Sydney 3/151 (A Nigul 60* M Oliver 35*, C Goddard 26) def Bankstown 149 (P Lindsay 4/20, A Perera 2/9 N Stokes 2/25).

After losing the toss, the 5th Grade side were asked to field. This worked out well because the captain would have bowled first anyway had he won the toss. The pitch at Graeme Thomas Oval seemed a little on the soft side. It played largely as expected - slow with some trampoline bounce. Sundries and wickets were a feature of the first dozen or so overs, and although the accuracy and consistency of the bowling could have been better, the boys took their chances. This meant wickets fell at regular intervals.  Jack Thomas (1-23) bowled in good areas, however, he will be disappointed to have missed two wickets that were taken off no balls. Nathaniel Stokes (2/25) bowled nicely for his two wickets, while Adrian Perera (2/9) was asked to bowl at a challenging time for a wrist spinner and acquitted himself very well taking two wickets. Patrick Lindsay gained the best bowling figures for the game taking 4/20 off his 10 overs. Cooper Goddard was easily the standout fielder, taking a great catch to remove their skipper. All in all it was a solid performance to dismiss Bankstown for 149. However, some sloppiness in the field, with catches down, and run outs missed as well 4 overs of no balls/wides will be much more costly against better sides.

With the bat, youngster, Adi Nigul was the standout. He was asked to bat through the innings, and he did just that with a mature, composed knock of 60 not out. This was a really promising innings, with 8 fours, from our young Green Shield bear, who still needs to work on his running between wickets, as Jamie Shaw will attest to. Cooper Goddard batted positively and looked really good for his 26. Michael Oliver showed great leadership with his 35 not out that included 5 fours, to see the team home comfortably. He played some very nice strokes off the front foot and is destined for higher grades.  It was an extremely pleasing performance with the bat to chase down the 149 required with 3 wickets down after just 36 overs and it is fair to say our batsman looked a class above. Onto next week!

Pictures courtesy of Tony Johnson