Round 12 Week 1 Wrap vs UNSW

1st Grade UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at David Phillips South

UNSW 8/314 (J Campbell 4/38, M Alexander 2/72, JN James 2/77)

UTS North Sydney headed over the bridge to David Phillips Oval in Daceyville to take on University of New South Wales for their Round 12 clash.

Prior to the game commencing SCA Chairman Graham Gorrie and UTS North Sydney President Rob Lavery were on hand to recognise the achievement of Rob Aitken in his record breaking 473rd game in first grade. James and Glenn Aitken also took time out of their second grade game to be in attendance.

It was an oppressively hot day with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees in the middle of the day and the only respite being a gentle breeze in the late afternoon. Nevertheless, after winning the toss, the Bears' captain chose to field in the hope of taking advantage of a pitch that the groundsman had described as ‘soft’.  It certainly provided a test for the bowling unit who needed a couple of early ones to justify the decision.

James Campbell and Will Graham opened the bowling with some excellent deliveries that went past the bat. Campbell bowled 32 dots in his first five overs. Matt Alexander and Olly Knight were also given an opportunity with the ball early. The four quicks bowled in short spells keeping the run rate under three, but could not break through for a wicket. The initial breakthrough occurred after the first drinks break with finger spinner Jack James hitting the opener in front for a plumb LBW. From here it was tough work as an 83 run second wicket partnership developed and was broken by the ever-reliable James Campbell with the score at 2/122.

Jack James (2/77) was re-introduced into the attack for his second spell after lunch to claim his second wicket with a neat stumping by George Lavelle to have the Bumblebees 3/169 after 62 overs.  James got through a mountain of work bowling 25 overs with 6 maidens by the day's end and was unlucky not to have a few more wickets with a catch going down at first slip and a tough caught and bowled chance missed, as well as a few close LBW shouts. Robbie Aitken (0/52) also got through 17 overs in a tidy display and he too was unlucky not to have a couple of very close LBWs go his way.

James Campbell (4/38) was the pick of the bowlers claiming the next wicket in his fourth spell, a few overs later, with a ball that slipped past the batsman's defences and crashed into the stumps. When Matt Alexander (2/72) chipped in with a wicket soon after, UNSW had reached 5/186 after 71 overs and the Bears had hopes of bowling them out before the close of play. However, a 68 run partnership for the 6th wicket took the Bees past 250. Alexander doubled up in the 88th over to take the key wicket of opener Ben Geddes, who had reached 141.

In the final eight overs UNSW pilled on another 60 runs and had it not been for two late wickets to Campbell, the Bears may have been batted out of the game. As it sits, with the Bees on 8/314, North Sydney will be looking for early wickets next week to give themselves a chance to chase down the target.

2nd Grade UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/378(R Alexander 86, J Hardy 68, N Naguleswaran 53, M Papworth 44, J Aiken 42, G Aiken 30)

The Round 12 match was the clash between the sixth placed North Sydney Bears and the eighteenth placed UNSW Bumblebees. With the weather predicted to break all records, players from both sides were grateful that the match was at Bon Andrews and not in the greater western suburbs.

After a strong warm up, stand-in skipper Max Papworth the real hero of the day, won the toss and immediately announced that the Bears were batting. There was great relief from the team! However a pre-match motivational spray from the effervescent Sam Alexander ensured that no-one was going to be complacent in the heat!

The Bears settled in for what was hoped to be a long day watching us pile on the runs. Unfortunately things got off to a bad start! Two quick wickets fell and the Bears were 2/7 off 5 overs. These wickets brought Jake Hardy and Max Papworth to the crease. The wicket was seaming around and both batsmen showed patience and excellent shot selection. Both pushed the score along, punishing anything loose while at the same time demonstrating textbook defence. They batted out the session and the Bears went into lunch at 2/100.

Jake Hardy (see veido inset) looked set for a big score, unfortunately straight after lunch he was caught at mid-wicket for a well constructed 68. Max continued batting beautifully with new batsmen Ray Alexander, until he was caught at cover for 44. Max’s batting continues to impress and he certainly deserved a half century for his efforts. Things continued to progress well for the Bears through the middle session as James Aitken and Ray Alexander joined for an excellent 100 run partnership. Going into tea at 5/188, the side was in an excellent position to set an impressive total.

After tea James and Ray continued to bat positively against a team that was melting in the extreme weather conditions. The score continued to build. However both batsmen fell in the session, James for 42 runs and Ray for 86. Both batsmen continued to impress with a fluent innings of power and precision. Unfortunately, Ray fell just short of another century for the season. Ray has been in quality form and just keeps scoring runs. The wickets left the game situation at 7/277 off 81 overs.


After the dismissals, Niranjan Naguleswaran joined Captain Glenn Aitken at the crease. The goal was to get to 300 runs, then accelerate and post as big a total as possible. Both batsmen batted conservatively until the 300 was reached in the 90th over. Then Niranjan exploded. scoring 53 runs off 32 balls, including 5 large sixes!! He was well supported by Glenn (30). He struck the ball as cleanly as ever and effortlessly cleared the boundary while maintaining excellent shape in his strokes. It was impressive to watch! Betting on the sideline was rampant as the onslaught continued! How quickly could he get to his half century!? Sam Alexander made a tidy sum, to fill him with confidence before going out to bat.

When Niranjan was caught on the boundary, Fletcher May strode to the crease with purpose, seemingly wanting to emulate the batting display of Niranjan! In his 16 run, 8 ball cameo, he showed exactly how destructive he can be. He hit the ball powerfully to all areas of the ground! Sam Alexander, also showed the importance of hand speed and use of the crease as he whipped the ball to the boundary with ease! The inning finished with Fletcher May smashing the biggest six ever recorded in the history of North Sydney cricket, eclipsing the previous record holder Olly Knight’s efforts. Fletcher managed to swing himself off his feet and across the wicket square! The crack off the bat was louder than most thunder claps! As Fletcher heaved the almighty six towards the Harbour Bridge! The ball sailed 20 metres above the fence protecting the motorway, it flew safely across the traffic and cannoned into the apartments on the other side. The entire ground erupted into cheers! The Bears concluded the day 9/378 - a  truly great effort! The boys sat in the shade out in front of the grandstand, enjoyed a beer and basked in a great day of cricket for the team.

3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at David Phillips North

UNSW 65 (H May 4/21, F Noack 2/7, N Whyte 2/16) v UTS North Sydney 8/213 (C Lloyd 80, I Merlehan 64, J Vilensky 38)

A hot day, small ground and hard but green looking pitch greeted the Bears at David Phillips (North). UNSW won the toss and batted, but this became the high point of their day. Two early wickets to Nuwan Whyte (2/16) were followed up by two more from Harrison May (4/21). A slow partnership formed, which was then broken by a stunning caught and bowled from May. Two balls later, Fraser Noack scored a direct hit runout to leave the Bees 6/33 at drinks. Further pressure and excellent bowling resulted in the Bears bowling them out for 65 in 30 overs, with two wickets to Fraser and Harrison finishing with four.

The batting innings started slowly before some controversy, as UNSW half-heartedly appealed for what appeared to be a bump ball catch. The umpires conferred and opener Ahmer Amir was given out. Dhruva Thorat was also very unlucky to be given out caught behind before a solid partnership of 56 between Jordan Vilensky (38) and Izaak Merlehan brought scores level. Skipper Chris Lloyd joined Izaak and together the two of them pummeled the tiring UNSW attack. Merlehan fell for 64 off 65 balls including 3 sixes while Lloyd continued the onslaught, eventually finishing with 80 off just 43 deliveries with 7 sixes. The Bears finished the day 8/213 with a 148 run lead and are well placed to take maximum points if the predicted storms hold off next week.

Special thanks to Jeff Vilensky for his fantastic video of all the wickets.

4th Grade UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at Tunks International Sports Park

UNSW 8/364

After losing the toss the Bears were asked to field in extreme heat on a flat Tunks pitch. Young Green Shield bowler, Toby Laybutt (1/33), bowled in good areas in his first spell to take the first  wicket on his Grade debut. He is a genuine talent that is destined for higher grades in the coming years. Adam Cavenor (1/43) then claimed the second wicket of the day with the score on 73. Will Abbott (1/30) grabbed the third UNSW wicket in the 37th over at 112. From there things got tough with Green Shield player Nicholas Everitt (170) and Nikolous Tsoukalas (66) putting together a 143 run partnership for the 4th wicket.  The pain did not end there with the Bumblebees scoring another 101 for the fifth wicket and the score advancing to 356. The Bees got to 8/364 with wickets to Tim Robson (1/79), Shiv Vohra (1/33) and Keith Lawrence (1/86).

It will take a mammoth batting effort to chase down the UNSW score next week.

5th Grade UTS North Sydney vs UNSW at Alexandria Park

UNSW 131 (J Thomas 3/28, P Lindsay 2/26, C Savage 2/37, L Opacic 2/20) v UTS North Sydney 1/55 (L Heffernan 28*)

The quirky Alexandria Park with its short boundaries and trees in the outfield was the location for 5s Round 12 clash vs UNSW.  The Bears named a strong side as we look to extend our lead at the top of the table. 

The combination of a flattish looking pitch and very hot and humid conditions had the Bears looking to bat first. Alas the toss was lost and predictably the Bears were in the field. 

The bowling and fielding was impressive as the Bears dismissed UNSW for 131 in the 59th over. Wickets were shared between Jack Thomas (3/28), Pat Lindsay (2/26), Chris Savage (2/37) and Luke Opacic (2/20). A special mention must go to Opacic who got a wicket with his first ball and was the pick of the bowlers. 

In reply the Bears are 1/55 with Lucas Heffernan not out on 28. Hopefully the forecast weather stays away and the Bears can get the 77 runs required and the 6 points.

Poidevin-Gray Shield UTS North Sydney v UNSW at David Phillips South

UTS North Sydney 6/260 (J Hardy 77, J Leary 67, G Lavelle 50, B Hardy 34) def  UNSW8/201 (46 overs D/L par score 238) (JN James 3/37 C Savage 2/32)

The young Bears turned up in good spirits after enduring the oppressively hot conditions on Saturday and would have been buoyed by the fact that they had played and convincingly beaten their opposition just two weeks earlier.

A correct call on the coin toss gave the boys first use of the pitch and an opportunity to set a total. After a steady start Jack James was adjudged run out in the fourth over, with the umpire deliberating for quite some time on the decision. Tim Reynolds also missed out after being dismissed for 15 and the Bears were 2/33 from 11. An excellent partnership between George Lavelle and James Leary steadied the ship with both lads nearing fifty at about the same time. After scoring 9 runs from his first 33 balls, George accelerated hitting 3 fours and a six to reach 50 from 70 balls before being caught and bowled with the score at 125. Leary was also patient early with 14 runs from his first 50 balls but finished with 67 runs from 103 balls, an innings that included 6 fours and a six. Leary has now scored consecutive fifties in PGs and has been a valuable player at the top of the order. With the fall of the 4th wicket the Bears had reached 177 with around 10 overs remaining. Jake Hardy who had scored 33 in a partnership of 52 with Leary, was now joined by his bother Broc. The Hardy Boys put on an entertaining 68 runs from around 50 balls with Broc being caught for 34 attempting a ramp shot. Jake was dismissed from the last ball of the innings top scoring with 77 from 58. The Bears had reached 260 a score they were confident they could defend.

The bowling innings started much the same way as the last time the teams met with Chris Savage claiming a wicket in his first over to have UNSW 1/1. A brilliant direct hit run-out from Broc Hardy with one stump to aim at to dismiss 1st Grade centurion Ben Geddes (from yesterday), gave the Bears the perfect start – 2/8 in the fourth. However, a 78 run partnership between Attenborough and Hresczuk at close to 5 runs per over started to make the Bears supporters nervous. After getting into his groove leg spinner Ben Knox (0/34 from 10) started to put the brakes on from one end before Jack James was introduced at the other. James picked up the dangerous Hresczuk LBW for 42 from his first ball. James then bowled in tandem with Knox removing Attenborough for 60 with a quicker one that crashed into the off bail. At 4/136 in the 33rd, the Bees now needed to score at more than 7 per over to win the game. After scoring more than a dozen singles in a row, no:5 Thomas Byrnes took on Tim Reynolds arm from the boundary and lost. The hard flat throw allowed Lavelle to do the rest reducing UNSW to 5/143. UNSW took 9 runs from the 39th, but a maiden by Mac Jenkins (0/46) increased the pressure on the UNSW batsman allowing James (3/37) to pick up his third pole in his final over with a nice catch on the boundary by Broc Hardy. It was now 6/160 and 101 runs were needed from 9 overs. UNSW continued to go at around 9 per over but the Bears kept taking wickets. Chris Savage (2/32 from 6) took the 7th wicket with a calm catch on the fence by Jack James. James had an outstanding day in the field and was responsible for a run out in the 44th over as the batsman took off for a single, slipped and could not get back as Lavelle removed the bails. With four over remaining UNSW had reached 8/201 needed 15 runs per over to win with two wickets in the sheds. However, the storm that was promised rolled in at around ten past five. The players left the field and did not return. The umpires inspected the pitch suggesting a 6:43 resumption. However, with lightning and further rain the game was called with North Sydney ahead on Duckworth Lewis by 37 runs.

It is now on to Chatswood Oval to face Gordon in the Sixers conference final. 

See the video inset for Adam Cavenor's superb video diary of the day.

Brewer Shield UTS North Sydney vs Universities

Universities 4/207 def UTS North Sydney 88

Images and footage courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Sarah Berman, Adam Cavenor, Jeff Vilensky and team captains