Round 2 Wrap Week 1 vs Hawkesbury

Round 2 UTS North Sydney vs Hawkesbury (Week 1)

1st Grade UTS North Sydney vs Hawkesbury at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 3/144 (JN James 71*, TL Reynolds 49*) v Hawkesbury 140 (M Alexander 4/28, R Aitken 2/0, W Graham 2/31)

Light drizzle and numerous dark clouds overhead meant a delayed start. The coin toss went in the Bears favour, with current Sydney Sixer and UTS North Sydney captain Justin Avendano having no hesitation sending the opposition in to bat.

The new ball bowlers used the bowler friendly conditions, putting the Hawkesbury batsmen under pressure. The openers had a bit of luck as two early LBWs were turned down. The luck turned our way when Will Graham landed a perfect delivery in the fourth over that went quickly to Ben Bryant at third slip. The ball went in and out of his hands deflecting towards Gully and into the outstretched left hand of Tom Jagot, just millimetres from the ground – a brilliant reflex catch. Graham struck again in his next over - this time a more straight forward catch to Avendano at first slip – Graham 2/0 and the Hawks 2/7. It was third time lucky for James Campbell – trapping the number three plumb LBW and Hawkesbury 3/9 after seven overs.

A strong partnership developed between Bilal Qureshi and Peter Forrest before Matt Alexander removed the dangerous former One Day International batsman, Forest with a superb catch by Max Papworth diving to his right.  A further wicket to Alexander, removing Qureshi, just after he had passed 50 and a brilliant runout to debutant Jack James at Mid-wicket, who picked up and threw within a few centimetres of the stumps to Papworth, who did the rest to dismiss the set batsman. Hawks 6/97 and in deep trouble.JN James batting 1

With the tea break approaching and number seven Mohammad Shinwari launching two sixes onto the Duncan Thompson roof, the captain threw Rob Aitken the ball and he didn’t disappoint. Aitken claimed a wicket in his first over caught at square leg by Campbell and a second through the gate to finish with 2/0 off three.  Not to be outdone Alexander claimed the final two Hawks wickets after the break with no addition to the score. Alexander finished with 4/28 off 11.5 overs and is the leading wicket taker in the competition.

With 49 overs scheduled to be bowled and 141 needed for first innings points, UTS North Sydney had a chance to ice the game in week one.

Opening the batting was Jack James (pictured), playing his maiden first grade game in the NSW Premier Cricket competition after a strong showing for the Greenvale Kangaroos in the Victorian Premier Competition last season. James started confidently with a four through backward point. Unfortunately, his partner Ben Bryant let one go that seamed back in and sent the bails flying, and when Avendano fell cheaply the boys were 2/7 with some work to be done on a challenging wicket. James combined with Jagot (19) for a steading 50 run partnership off 85 balls before Jagot was trapped LBW.

At 3/57, James was joined by his former U19 NSW Academy and Northern Territory teammate, Tim Reynolds. The teenagers combined beautifully putting away loose balls to the boundary, with a feature being the confident running between wickets. The pair brought up 50 runs in 71 balls, edging closer to the target. While James hit his 10 fours along the carpet, Reynolds chanced his arm with 5 fours and two towering straight sixes against the spinner to set up an interesting final over.  With eight needed for victory on the first day and all fielders on the fence, James and Reynolds ran ones and twos leaving the scores level with one ball remaining in the day. James played a neat late cut past the keeper for four, giving UTS North Sydney first innings points and the ascendency leading into day two.

2nd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Hawkesbury at Owen Earle Oval

Hawkesbury 7/180 (S Alexander 2/13, J Aitken 2/21, RG Van Kemenade 2/38)

Second Grade journeyed north-west to Owen Earle Oval to take on a Hawkesbury side that narrowly lost to UNSW in Round 1. There is plenty of first grade experience in this team who started with a convincing win last start. The side was also boosted by the addition of Jake Hardy who returned to grade cricket after a long injury lay off.

The locals won the toss and chose to bat on a hard wicket. The seamers bowled well with the first reward going to Ryan Van Kemenade. James Aitken took the second wicket of the day, both wickets LBW and the Hawks 2/34 after 11. Aitken struck again in the nineteenth over, bowling a miserly spell of bowling with his two wicket costing just 21 runs in 16 overs.

Spin dominated the rest of the day with Sam Alexander (2/13), Mac Jenkins (0/25) and Niranjan Naguleswaran (1/29) bowling with consistency and discipline to choke the scoring. The tight bowling was typified by Naguleswaran who bowled ten maidens from his 21 over spell. There was a strong fielding presence all day

2s are well placed and will be looking for some early wickets next week to clean up the tail and chase down the required runs. Let’s hope the predicted rain stays away.

3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Hawkesbury at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/290 (J Graham 67*, J Vilensky 64, R Alexander 55, D.Thorat 30, N Whyte 28)

With Chris Lloyd missing this round – he was married on the Friday, captaincy duties were given to Jacob Graham. Well done to both men. In another milestone, Jordan Vilensky (pictured - left) made his first appearance in third grade.

The day did not start as planed with the 3s boys fronting up to wet and rainy conditions for their first home game of the season at the usually lovely Bon Andrews Oval. Not only did the boys in red and black have to deal with a one hour delay in play, but to our surprise we were faced with a pitch that resembled the outfield. This could only mean that the order for the morning was coffee runs, indoor cricket and music pumping from the finely curated playlists of Benjamin Knox.

3s Vilenksy Graham Alexander 50

An energetic yet abysmal skilled game of touch footy with a cricket ball paved the way for a high skilled fielding session. Resident captain Chris Lloyd was sorely missed at the toss as stand-in debut skipper Jacob Graham (pictured - centre) flipped poorly, resulting in the Hawkesbury skipper jumping at the chance to have a bowl. A good hit out during throw downs was had from the top order as we were now tasked in setting a score.

The team chat before we set about the day was patience. Soaking up balls and going about making sure we could kick in with wickets in hand in the last hour of play.

Unfortunately we lost opener Tom Hamblin (6) to the only good seed of the first session, falling caught behind in the fifth over. Debutant Jordan Vilensky and Dhruva Thorat combined to grind down and blunt their openers before putting them and their change bowlers to the sword, taking us from 1-14 to 1-70 at drinks. The partnership was broken at 81 with Dhruva (30) out LBW to one that rolled which brought Raymond Alexander to the crease. A small partnership began to flourish before a bowling change brought the downfall of Vilensky for a well-made 64.

Unfortunately that brought the quick wickets of Hodge and Spratt who were perhaps both a little unlucky in their dismissals as Hawkesbury took three wickets on the stroke of tea to have the Bears 5-138.

The teatime chat had us re-evaluate what we thought was very defendable, and the group still to bat had the target of 250 minimum in mind. As play resumed skipper Jacob Graham and Raymond Alexander (pictured - left) went about building a partnership. Ray was in fine touch finding the fence more freely as Jacob nudged the ball around soaking up plenty of dots as they began to watch the energy from the fielders completely dissipate. Raymond brought up his 50 in style with a boundary and looked to push on, putting pressure on the opening bowlers who’d both returned for their second and third spells respectively.

It was a bowling change that yet again bore fruit for the Hawkesbury captain as the partnership was broken just as it threatened to blossom into something big, one leaping off a length to square up Alexander (55) where gully took a sharp catch.  From there Graham (67*) batted well with the tail combining with Jarrad Ninness (16), Fletcher May (5) and a swashbuckling Nuwan Whyte (28) to take the Bears from a precariously placed 6-179 to a very defendable 9-290.

All in all not a bad toss to lose in the end as the pitch played fair. The Bears will be well placed with plenty to play for on day two with the bowlers well equipped to get the job done should the forecasted weather of rain and storms stay away.

4th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Hawkesbury at Bensons Lane 3

Hawkesbury 3/135 v UTS North Sydney 89

4th Grade drew the short straw, required to make a long trek out to the open fields with all of the sights and smells that Hawkesbury has to offer. Drew Sellers made his club debut and Adi Nigul was promoted to 4s after a strong showing in 5s the previous week. Unfortunately, after batting first in difficult conditions the UTS North Sydney Bears were rolled for 89 runs. Hawkesbury then took control of the game and claimed first innings points for the loss of just three wickets. Hopefully, the boys can take a quick haul of early wickets next week to salvage some pride out of this game.

5th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Hawkesbury at Tunks Park

UTS North Sydney 4/256 dec (J Shaw 115*, G Jansson 65,C Madala 56) v Hawkesbury 2/13 (R Brown 2/3)

5s Shaw 100

With the overnight rain 5s arrived to a soggy Tunks Park outfield, but a hard dry pitch - a true Bernie special. After some diligent super-soppering, play commenced with the loss of just 5 overs. 

Grant Jansson and Jamie Shaw, in just his third game for the club, opened the batting and set about destroying the Hawks opening attack. They took to the Hawkesbury bowling plundering 137 for the first wicket off just 21 overs, with Jansson falling for a typically dashing 65. Chaitanya Madala then joined Shaw in the middle with the pair inflicting further pain on the Hawkesbury bowlers by putting on another century stand of 107. With Madala out after a well-compiled 56, the home team was sitting nicely on 2/144.

The star of the show was Jamie Shaw (pictured) who smashed a brilliant 115*. Jamie punished the bad ball and his driving down the ground and shots square of the wicket on the onside were a real highlight. This innings has set Jamie’s year up and we are all really excited to see what he can deliver moving forward. The Bears declared at 4/256 off 54 overs. Due to the slow over rate of the opposition, this left us around seven overs at the Hawks.

Ross Brown (2/7) on his club debut, opened the bowling with Chris Savage, and had immediate success with a wicket on his second ball. Both Brown and Savage bowled with pace and fire, but it was Brown who claimed the spoils with a second late wicket to have Hawkesbury 2/13 at the close of play.

The Bears will look to close the deal next week, but will have to bowl diligently as the two Hawks at the crease look capable.

A solid days efforts from 5s!

Pictures courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James and team captains