Round 7 Wrap Week 1 vs Parramatta

Round 7 UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta (Week 1)

1st Grade UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta at Old Kings Oval

Parramatta 9/291 (J Campbell 3/66, O Knight 2/45, M Alexander 2/48, R Aitken 1/43, M Jenkins 1/56) 


Parramatta won the coin toss and decided to bat under overcast skies on a patchy wicket with a dry hard outfield. UTS North Sydney got off to the perfect start with a wicket to Matt Alexander in the second over removing the dangerous Ben Abbott for a duck. James Campbell then doubled up for the Bears in the next over with a nice catch at square leg by Mac Jenkins to have Parramatta 2/3. There were plenty of plays and misses as the opening bowlers got into their work, but the batsman dug in and refused to give away their wickets.  At Drinks Campbell had bowled 7 overs with 3 maidens 1/12 and Alexander 6 overs 2 maidens 1/6. Olly Knight, who was just as miserly, made the 3rd breakthrough of the day with an edge taken by Jack James at second slip. Parramatta 3/49 off 23 and the Bears well on top. 

Parramatta made it to lunch 3/63 off 29, but twenty minutes after lunch Scott Copperfield was retired hurt, exposing the middle order. The North Sydney bowlers took full toll with wickets to Knight in his second spell caught behind by George Lavelle and a wicket to Jenkins (pictured) with an excellent catch at backward square by Knight to have the Eels 5/74. Batting at no. 8, Luke Dempsey (50) swung the bat from ball one, taking his chances and changing the momentum of the game as Parramatta scored at more than 5 per over for the next ten or so overs.  The Bears were a tad unlucky not to take his wicket early – he lofted his third ball over the head of Robbie Aitken at mid off who desperately tried to catch up to the ball. Robbie also had three confident LBW shouts against him in his first over. When Campbell was re-introduced for his third spell, he had immediate success, clean bowling Dempsey with the score on 147. 

The fall of the 6th wicket brought Copperfield back to the crease with the aid of a runner. He picked up where Dempsey had left off, hitting 9 fours and a six. James Campbell had a chance to run him out on 32 with a throw that narrowly missed the pine. Robbie Aitken (1/43) eventually got one through Copperfield’s defences taking the off bail and bringing some control back to the game. However, it is fair to say that with two consecutive 70-run partnerships, Parra had gotten away, slithering to 7/250 after 80 overs. 

With the old ball not doing a lot, captain Avendano took the new ball in the hope of finishing the innings. New ball bowlers Campbell and Alexander both took a wicket each, but the tail were determined to hang around for opener Tim Ward as he brought up his 100 late in the day. There was plenty of tension out in the middle, with Ward sitting on 98, 8 down for several overs. Then when the 9th wicket fell, it looked like our top order may have to face a tricky few overs with a new ball under fading light. That didn’t eventuate, despite all the oohs and aahs, as a number of ball sailed very close to the edge of the bat. In the end there was no joy for the Bears with Parramatta surviving to be 9/291 at stumps. The game is evenly poised and a lot will hinge on the first half an hour next week.

Kingsgrove T20 Cup UTS North Sydney vs Eastern Suburbs at Waverley Oval

Knight T20

UTS North Sydney 3/225 (O Knight 82, T Jagot 69*, J Avendano 61) def Eastern Suburbs 163 (R Aitken 4/11, M Alexander 3/27)

The Bears lost the toss and were asked to bat first on a placid looking Waverley Oval deck. Skipper Avendano and VC Jagot strode to the wicket and started with aplomb - putting on a century stand. After being hit on the hand, Avendano obtained revenge soon after, hitting an enormous bomb clean over the grandstand at Waverley Oval. Many Easts old timers claimed it a new record for the largest six hit at the ground.  

Justin’s departure for 61 off 33 brought Olly Knight (pictured) to the crease, who opened his account with a six and then followed up with nine more, in his innings of 82 off just 32 balls. Some serious hitting was on display off both spin and pace. Tom Jagot anchored the innings beautifully as he continued his rich vein of form, carrying his bat for the 2nd week in succession with 69* off 51. 3/225 was the final score, beating last year’s 4/224 against Illawarra and surely a Bears record in the comp.

Easts’ chase of the large total started with a bang with Tim Armstrong in imperious touch. He was threatening to repeat his heroics against Gordon last week (123* off 66) until he was undone by a direct hit run out, by Matt Alexander (off his own bowling - see video inset). Armstrong was dismissed for 60 off 21 balls just as the game was swinging Easts’ way. Matt then removed Robson in the same over as the game swung further back to Norths. Wickets fell regularly from then on highlighted by a brilliant outfield catch from Will Graham off Olly Knight to remove the set batsman Jamie Smith, and superb spell of bowling from the ageless Rob Aitken who took 4/11 off 4! 

The Bears took the final wicket on the final ball running out comprehensive winners by 62 runs. Special shout out to Nathaniel Stokes who sub-fielded for injured skipper Avendano. Stokes was called off Bondi Beach mere minutes before the start of the bowling innings and impressed all with his confidence and composure in the field.

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

Parramatta 7/422 (AA Shaikh 3/114, N Naguleswaran 3/117, N Whyte 1/64)

It was long day in the field for second grade. 

In overcast conditions UTS North Sydney took to the field with Bon Andrews looking a treat. The wicket was green and hard  and offered a lot of movement for bowlers who wanted to use the seam, while the outfield was characteristically short and fast. 

The play started well with Ali Shaikh (3/114) opening the day’s accounting with an edge to James Leary behind the stumps taking Parramatta to 1/16. The remainder of the first session proved to be frustrating for the Bears with the ball beating the bat and countless LBW shouts turned down. Parramatta recovered to go to lunch at 1/83. Unfortunately, despite solid bowling, our boys did not capitalise on the conditions, and not taking early wickets at Bon Andrews can hurt you in the afternoon. 

The second session of the day was finely balanced. It was a hard grind for both sides with three wickets falling for 120 runs. These were two wickets for Niranjan Naguleswaran, including a great caught and bowled, combined with an Ali Shaikh yorker. Long tight spells from the reliable spinners Sam Alexander 0/90 off 23 and Niranjan Naguleswaran 3/117 off 28 were the main feature. It was a tug of war of discipline and the Bears looked to be fighting their way back into the lead in the contest. At tea the score was 4/208. 

The day was going to be decided in the last session, and the wicket had flattened into a good batting surface. Consistent bowling was maintained however, the too-frequent release ball and a few missed opportunities did not help. However, Nuwan Whyte took his maiden second grade wicket with a nice edge to first slip to have Parramatta 5/294, and he finished the day with figures of 1/64 off 16 overs. 

The day’s hard toil slipped slightly when Parramatta chanced their hand with some lusty striking in the last hour. They scored 90 runs off the last 10 overs and 60 off the last 6, which can be done on a flat wicket with short boundaries, and  finished with an above par 422. Unfortunately this doesn’t reflect the day’s struggle and disciplined bowling performances. The boys should be proud of the way they conducted themselves, particularly the support and hard work throughout the96 overs in the dirt. It was a hard day in the office. But everyone gave it their best. 

It will require a strong batting performance next week. We are certainly up to the challenge - in our favour is the quality of our batting line up, the belief that we have chased and won before as well as the flat pitch and small boundaries. But this will certainly test us to our limits.

3rd Grade UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta at Merrylands Oval

Parramatta 8/300 (H May 3/38, F May 2/63, A Cavenor 1/31, JJ Ninness 1/35, B Knox 1/86)

UTS North Sydney travelled to Merrylands in Sydney’s west to play at Merrylands Oval, described by locals as a ‘beautiful park’ and ‘a small cricket ground’. Brothers May opened the bowling for the Bears, with Harrison (3/38) taking the first wicket of the day and Fletcher (2/63), the second to have Parramatta 2/33 early. The wickets continued to be shared around and we had them 3/49 at the start of the 15th over following a glorious leave that hit the top of off stump from returning red-headed fast bowler Jarrad Ninness. It was Ninness’ first ball of the game and the wicket was duly celebrated. Jacob Graham joined Ninness at the bowling crease without success. Harrison returned and then Ben Knox was introduced, but we couldn’t buy a wicket with the partnership carrying them to 3/107 at tea.

After tea, Harrison May – the angriest man in grade cricket - bowled a superb second spell of reverse swing bowling that saw Parramatta fall to 5/119 at the half way point. Unfortunately, the pitch then flattened out as their number 7 made a hundred and it was left to the spinners to do most of the work. Adam Cavenor (1/31) removed their number 3, after he past fifty and Ben Knox took the 7th wicket with the score on 249. Both dismissals were LBW. Fletcher came back to take our last wicket – 8/264. The Parramatta batsman then pushed on to 300. Overall 300 is about par for the conditions, but we will have to build partnerships to do the job next weekend.

4th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta at Tunks Park

UTS North Sydney 4/84 (B Kumar 32*) v Parramatta 123 (S Vohra 3/14, R Brown 3/22,  FJ Noack 2/10 B Kumar 2/40)

Parramatta won the toss and chose to bat on what looked a good wicket, but with a tinge of grass. North Sydney teams have a good record at Tunks Park over the early rounds and it was hoped that we could use the home ground advantage to bounce back after last week. Nathaniel Stokes (0/33) and Ross Brown (3/22) opened the attack, and were difficult to get away bowling five maidens in the first six overs. Stokes has been in good form over recent weeks and he bowled a good line and length beating the bat without luck. However, Brown did not miss out in his first appearance in fourth grade, taking the spoils with two early wickets. Parramatta 2/1 off 6. After a brilliant first spell, Fraser Noack (2/10), who was also making his debut at this level, replaced Brown and in the 16th over Shiv Vohra (3/14) was introduced into the attack for Stokes. This new combination spelled disaster for the batsman with the pair claiming 5 wickets in three overs. Shiv got his first, caught Noack in the 18th. The next over saw Fraser get in on the action and on a hat-trick taking wickets on his 3rd and 4th balls. In the 20th over Vohra was also on a hat-trick and after 20 the Parramatta batting innings had been torn to shreds to be 7 for 29.

Unfortunately, we were unable to snare the last three wickets quickly.  The ball had softened and the discipline that characterised the first 20 overs was not maintained. Expectations were high for a total shut out, but Parramatta were able to put together a few handy partnerships to give themselves a chance. Back in the middle, Baran Kumar (2/40) grabbed the 8th wicket of the day with the score on 52 and 29 overs gone. Brown came back for his second spell to remove the solid number 5 and the Eels were squirming at 9/87. The Parramatta number 10 managed to get past 50 in a lone hand as Kumar picked up his second and Parramatta were finally bowled out for 123. 

In reply the Bears are 4/84 with Kumar (32*) and Hamish Reynolds, another fourth grade debutant, on 1*, at the crease. Some patient batting and starts from Grant Jansson (18) and Keith Lawrence (17) has placed the team in a good position needing a further 40 for first innings points. With a little luck, the Bears will chase down the runs quickly next week and set up the game for an outright.

5th Grade UTS North Sydney vs Parramatta at Castlewood Oval

UTS North Sydney 267 (A Shaikh 53, C Madala 47, C Goddard 43, I Merlehan 29, O Jennings 29)  

The boys arrived at Castlewood Oval under overcast skies to see a very dry, grey tinged pitch. Skipper Lindsay called correctly (for once!) and the Bears would bat. Peter Brazel (1) was lost early, but a series of positive and confident partnerships advanced the score at a decent clip. Izaak Merlehan (29) combined with Cooper Goddard (43) to put on 42 for the second wicket, while Chaitanya Madala (47) and Abdullah Shaikh (53) put on a 73 run stand for the 4th wicket. Shaikh, who notched up his 4th Grade fifty, then combined with Oliver Jennings (29) for a 48 run partnership for the fifth wicket. Momentum fell away in the last hour as Parra regrouped and eventually the Bears were dismissed in the last over for 267 - a score at or around par noting the flat deck and lightning outfield. The Bears will have to bowl with patience and field with concentration and desire to return with the 6 points next Saturday.

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