Round 6 Wrap vs Western Suburbs

1st Grade UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 5/237 (J Avendano 126* G Lavelle 42* B Bryant 42) def  Western Suburbs 9/236 (W Graham 3/43, R Aitken 3/55) 

In a highly competitive game against Western Suburbs, UTS North Sydney emerged victorious on the back of some tight bowling and a marvellous ton by Bears skipper, Justin Avendano. 

Lavelle 6

With complete cloud cover overhead, North Sydney won the toss and sent the Magpies in. James Campbell (1/53) opened the attack, after returning from NSW Second XI duties, and went incredibly close to taking a stunning caught and bowled off the first ball of the day. His opening partner, Will Graham (3/43), who was the pick of the bowlers, claimed the first wicket with the score on 18 with a confident LBW appeal. A 50 run second wicket partnership provided Wests with momentum, before Graham took his second wicket.  James Psarakis (61) and Josh Clarke (54) moved the score along to 141 before Psarakis was out caught and bowled to Robbie Aitken. When Aitken took another wicket for the addition of 8 runs the game started to turn in the home side’s favour. Campbell chipped in for a wicket and when Aitken completed his second caught and bowled, a sharp chance, the visitors were 6/185 with 9 overs remaining. Interestingly, Robbie Aitken went on to be caught and bowled himself, in the batting innings. Youngster, Mac Jenkins (1/36) was rewarded with a wicket in his final over after keeper George Lavelle did a fantastic job to grab the ball as it veered away from him and take off the bails with the batsman charging down the wicket. Leading First Grade wicket taker, Matt Alexander (1/41) added another to his tally with the score at 206. Will Graham completed the third caught and bowled of the day to have Wests 9 down, but the tail had wagged as the Magpies finished 9/236.

The Bears lost Tom Jagot in the first over, but the ever-reliable Ben Bryant (42) and Justin Avendano (126*) put on a wonderful 111 run stand, the hundred coming off 128 balls to place Norths in a strong position. With the pitch starting to hold up there was a mini collapse as the next three batsmen fell for single figures and Wests were back in it at 5/143. Added to that was the impending rain and a deficit on the Duckworth Lewis equation. New man Lavelle rectified this, taking 11 runs from the 40th over. Avendano rode his luck being caught on the rope on 62 and in act of great sportsmanship, the fielder, Psarakis, signalled a six as his foot had touched the rope while completing the catch. He was also dropped on 89, a tough chance at backward point. However, after weathering the storm, the rain came with Avendano on 95* and Lavelle (pictured) on 23* with the Bears marginally ahead on Duckworth-Lewis. After a short rain break, the sun tried to peak through for the first time. The equation was 51 off 50 balls. It was Lavelle’s finest knock since joining the team from Lancashire, scoring 42 off 52 balls, that included 3 fours and 2 sixes. Avendano went past 100 and in doing so brought up his 4,000th career First Grade run (video inset).  Avendano’s hundred is the second by a North Sydney First Grade batsman this season and moves him to 5th on the batting aggregate list. The Bears passed the opposition score with 2 overs to spare and move back into 3rd place on the ladder.

2nd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Pratten Park

Second Grade completed a hard fought win against a strong Western Suburbs side to remain undefeated for the season. The playing group had a lot of confidence after a dogged victory in round 5 and were hoping to take the lessons learnt from the previous round into this game against a well placed opposition. The win cements our spot in the top three.


Captain Glenn Aitken won the toss on a green but hard wicket and sent the opposition in on their home turf at Pratten Park. Great opening spells from James Aitken and Ollie Knight did not produce immediate results as the two Wests openers batted with aggression and plenty of luck to go past 50 in the 11th over. However, discipline and perseverance from Aitken, who had bowled unchanged, led to success with JA removing both set openers. He found the edge of the opener’s bat in his 6th over, caught by James Leary, and then he smashed out the stumps of the other opener in his 7th over to eventually finish with the miserly figures of 2/24 off 10 straight overs. 

The introduction of finger spinner Sam Alexander reaped immediate results. Sam joined the party taking out the next two batsmen in his first two overs, again with Leary playing a part with a very sharp stumping that had everyone impressed. His next pole was the crucial wicket of Jason Hughes, with him having the enviable figures of 2 for 1 off 2. After 21 overs Wests were 4/73 and the Bears had turned the game in their favour. Alexander completed his 10 overs with 2/33.

Unfortunately a partnership formed, which is often the case in excellent batting conditions. However, the side remained disciplined. The bowlers showed great control weaving their magic and despite a few missed opportunities they continued to restrict the scoring. Niranjan Naguleswaran was brought into the attack later in the match with the intention of closing the game from one end. He was immediately attacked by the Magpies batsman in the hope of hitting him out of the game in a clearly targeted move. However, Niranjan’s skill and guile were too much for the batsmen as he took care of the next three batsman, finishing with the figures of 3/46 off 10. Some late hitting from the tail left Wests with a competitive 7 for 216 off their 50 overs. 


Special mention must go to James Leary to took two sharp chances and two even sharper stumpings. The second stumping was so sharp the batsman did not even attempt to regain his ground. His keeping continues to impress. 

After the loss of an early one, James Leary (pictured above) toiled hard, batting for an extended period with Max Papworth. The experience and calm cricket heads of both players consolidated the innings and slowly pushed the score ahead. The dismissal of Papworth for 12, after crunching consecutive fours a few balls earlier brought James Aitken to the crease. Aitken got the run rate moving scoring freely to all parts of the field. He looked a class above, and his stylish run a ball innings included three sixes. The 66 run 3rd wicket partnership of the Jameses comfortably took the score past 100 by the 27th over and the Bears were in a comfortable position, well ahead of the Duckworth Lewis requirement.

As the clouds darkened and a storm loomed, the day got increasingly darker and this seemed to result in wickets, with James Aitken (46 - pictured) and James Leary (47) falling with the scores at 107 and 127 respectively. At 4/127, the Bears required 90 runs from 90 balls. When two more wickets fell - the dangerous “closer” Ray Alexander and youngster Jake Hardy - Second Grade were 6/145 with 9 overs remaining. The rate had gotten away from us slightly pushing to 8. 

After a rain delay, Olly Knight and Glenn Aitken had the task of guiding the Bears home. Calm heads were required and the two men worked well in combination. The left/ right hand pairing allowed both batsmen to target the short end every over. Both players used power and control in a mature innings. The turning point of the match was the 44th over, Olly hit 3 sixes and took 24 runs off the over. The action packed over included three beamers, two of which travelled the distance, the last one drew blood from Olly’s shoulder and retirement for the bowler. The replacement bowler faired no better with Olly finishing it with another six! The game was finished off by second ball of the 49th over. GA finished with 29 not out off 19 balls and Olly with an aggressive and dominant 44 not out which was characteristic of his energy all day. 

The characteristically disciplined and hard fought victory has kept the second grade undefeated. The energy, enthusiasm and spirit of the Second Grade side is obvious. The boys are playing a great brand of cricket, which is very enjoyable to be part of and to watch. It is hoped they continue their form into their next round match.

3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Bon Andrews

UTS North Sydney 223 (C New 58, A Amir 56, J Holmes 48) def by Western Suburbs 4/257 (A Cavenor 2/39, N Whyte 2/56)

Third Grade won the toss and bowled in what appeared to be favorable bowling conditions. However, we let them off the hook early and a big partnership formed. 

Jacob Graham (0/44 off 10) and Harrison May (0/23 off 8) brought it back with some tight bowling but no wickets. After 36 overs Wests had amassed 156 runs. Finally, in the 37th, Nuwan Whyte, in his second spell, got a wicket for the Bears. He doubled his efforts with a second scalp in the 43rd over to finish with 2/56 from his 10. Young off spinner Adam Cavenor bowled at the death, and was rewarded with two wickets. After such a dominant start from the opposition it was pleasing that we were able to keep it relatively tight in the final 15-20 overs and 257 was definitely a target we could chase down with the array of talent in the batting order.

The batting innings started badly with opener Dhruva Thorat snicking off for a duck in the first over. Cam New was then joined in the middle by Chris Spratt (18). The pair put together a handy 47 run partnership. The dismissal of Spratt brought Ahmer Amir to the crease. New and Ahmer looked in control and were sailing with both players reaching 50. New cracked 9 fours and a six in his innings of 58, while Ahmer hit 7 fours and a six for his 56. When New was dismissed we were 3/130 after 25 and well on track. From there we lost wickets in clumps, in what was a middle order collapse. A few tight overs from the Magpies bowlers pushed the rate up to have us in some trouble at 6/164 after 36. At this stage the Bears required a further 94 runs from 84 deliveries. Big hitting Jake Holmes came to the crease, making his 3rd grade debut to almost pull us out of trouble. Jake scored 48, hitting 4 fours and 3 sixes, and was the last man out in the 45th over with the score on 223 – just 35 runs short.

We must now regroup as we face the 2nd placed Parramatta in next week’s two-day fixture.

4th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Blick Oval

UTS North Sydney 105 (K Lawrence 24) def by Western Suburbs 216 (T Robson 3/48, I Merlehan 2/17, C Savage 2/20, N Stokes 2/40)

In what was the trend of the day, North Sydney won the toss and sent their opposition in. 

The Wests openers came out swinging loosely, connecting with a few unconventional shots. They were hard to dislodge and their big hitting got them off to a flier, racing to 59, with one opener hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes. At one stage they had 40 odd off 4. Tim Robson (3/48) combined with Baran Kumar (1/59) to take three wickets with the score on 59. We continued to pressure the opposition and had a good roll on – we were choking the middle order. The Bears bowlers then grabbed two more quick wickets to have Wests 5/70. A few small partnerships developed, but there was really only one guy doing the scoring – PG Sofianidis. He played some really attractive strokes through and over cover to score 94* including 11 fours and 3 sixes. The Magpies went from 5/70 to 216 on the back of his innings.

In the end, our bowling unit put in a good performance. Chris Savage (2/20), who bowled tightly on debut in 4th Grade was rewarded for his good lines. Nathaniel Stokes (2/40) and Izaak Merlehan (2/17) got 2 each, to chip away at the lower middle order and dismiss the opposition in 34.1 overs. The main concern was the speed at which they scored. We also let ourselves down with some dropped catches that hurt our bowling innings. We had our chances to restrict and didn't take them.

There is very little to speak of in the batting performance as we lost a continuous stream of wickets to be all out 105 – with Mr Sofianidis (4/24) doing much of the damage. The Wests bowlers did most of the damage with the new ball and our top order were undone by some up and down bounce. Keith Lawrence was the sole hand of substance, with a gritty 24. Turn and bounce undid the lower order and tail. A major difference was that they did not drop their catches.

In the end it was a disappointing game of what-ifs. If we'd taken our catches we would have been chasing a lot less. Application with the bat has been a lingering issue this season that the group will need to get right as we head into our next two day fixture against Parramatta who sit just above us on the table.

5th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Western Suburbs at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 6/212 (H Reynolds 38, J Thompson 32, L Smith 29, P Lindsay 25*) def  Western Suburbs 147 (FJ Noack 4/23, P Lindsay 2/26)

5s were at Tunks again, hoping to bounce back from a disappointing result vs Sydney. Overnight rain had the outfield sluggish, but the deck was fine and Wests opted to bowl first after winning the toss.

The Bears started patiently on a deck that offered a bit for the bowlers, noting that Wests opened with a medium pacer and a leggie! Par was assessed at 180 and anything over 200 a good score.

Highlights with the bat was the diligent opening stand of 66 between Peter Brazel (24) and Hamish Reynolds (38). Confident displays from returning Bears Jacob Thompson (32) and Luke Smith (28) and a big bomb from skipper Lindsay (25*). The Bears finished with a highly competitive 6/212.

The Bears built pressure with the ball from the off, seeking to keep the Magpies behind the run rate with storm clouds brewing. Fraser Noack was the standout bowler with 4/23. The Bears were wasteful with a couple of dropped chances and two wickets off no-balls, however got the job done, dismissing Wests for 147 in the 46th over.  A professional win from 5s who move to 4 and 2 with two dayers against Parramatta and Fairfield to come pre Christmas.

Kingsgrove T20 Cup UTS North Sydney v Randwick-Petersham at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 4/166 (T Jagot 89*, O Knight 43) def by Randwick-Petersham (R Aitken 2/24)Ali

Randwick Petersham won their second toss of the day and elected to have first use of the wicket. It was a tough day at the office for our bowlers as the powerful Randwick Petersham batting line up took full toll. Only Robbie Aitken, (2/24), managed to go at less than ten runs an over as the batsmen, including England Lions representative Daniel Bell-Drummond,plundered 9 sixes and 22 fours in a total of 4/218. Mac Jenkins (1/49) and Matt Alexander (1/44) were the other wicket takers.

Our batsman gave it a red hot go, but as the overs passed the run rate continued to climb. Tom Jagot 89* off 62 was a stand out with 11 fours and a six. Daniel Leerdam (21 off 14) also made a strong contribution. Olly Knight (43 off 33), who hit 4 sixes, kept the crowd entertained and gave the Bears a sniff. Knight hit two of the biggest sixes in recent memory, with the  first rebounding off the large fig tree and onto the road and the second hitting the top of the O’Reilly stand. In the end, UTS North Sydney finished at 3/166, well short of the opposition’s massive score.

Pictured - Ali Shaikh receiving his first grade cap from Glenn Aitken

Poidevin-Gray Shield UTS North Sydney v Randwick-Petersham at North Sydney Oval

UTS North Sydney 2/104 (JN James 49* T Reynolds 28, G Lavelle 20*)  def Randwick-Petersham  (N Whyte 3/9, C Savage 2/20, JN James 1/16, M Jenkins 1/18)

The young Bears bounced back with an emphatic victory over Randwick Petersham at North Sydney Oval to put themselves back in the hunt for a finals berth.

Randwick Petersham won the toss and elected to bat. However, it wasn’t what they were hoping for as Mac Jenkins (1/18) bowled a wicket maiden, removing one opener with a nice catch by Jack James at short cover. It was a perfect start for the two former Randy Petes. Nuwan Whyte, then joined the party in the 3rd over for a wicket maiden of his own, clean bowling the other opener. Skipper George Lavelle then introduced Chris Savage (2/20) into the attack, who also claimed a wicket on debut in his first over (video inset). Whyte continued, bowling his four overs in one spell. He bowled full and straight and with good pace, finishing with outstanding figures of 3 for 9. James (1/16) bowled four tight overs in the middle and could have had a second wicket if not for a drop in the outfield. It was a comprehensive bowling performance to restrict the opposition to 7/102.

Lavelle James end of gameAfter the loss of an early wicket, Jack James (49* off 50) and Tim Reynolds (28) combined for a 55 run partnership. Reynolds hit 6 fours in his 23 ball stay. George Lavelle (20* off 16) joined James (both pictured) to cruise to victory in the 15th over, the pair putting on 41 unbeaten runs.

Sitting equal fifth on the table and with 6 points on offer against Easts – a win is a must in the next round if the squad is to progress in the competition.

On a side note, good luck to youngsters Tim Reynolds, playing for NSW in the upcoming U19s national championships in Perth and to Jack James, Chris Savage, Harrison May and Ahmer Amir all playing for UTS in the Australian University games in Adelaide.

Pictures courtesy of Tony Johnson, David James, Christin Hohne, Greg Savage and team captains