UTS Victorious at Uni Nationals

Report from Adam Cavenor

Team photo
Final handshakes
Sav, Vrushab and trophy
Champions 3
Reaching for catch
Vrushab Kumar top wicket taker
Vrushab and trophy
Finn bowling
Cav bowling
Bears incl. Merlo
Champions 2

The UTS T20 cricket team travelled to the Sunshine Coast for the Cricket Unisport Nationals featuring 7 Bears (Adam Cavenor, Chris Savage, Drew Sellers, Finn Nixon-Tomko, Harrison May, Kaustav Karan and Vrushab Kumar, with an 8th Bear Captaining Western Sydney University (Izaak Merlehan).

It was to be an all Bear affair in the first fixture, with UTS facing Western Sydney. Strong contributions from the Bears helped UTS chase 92 after bowling WSU out, with Chris taking 3/10 [3], Adam Cavenor 3/20 [4] & 33 runs, Vrushab Kumar 2/16 [4] and Drew Sellers with an unbelievable catch on the boundary.

It was Kaustav’s turn on Day 2 of the tournament, taking 4/8 [3] (including a spell of 4/0), with Finn 1/10 [4] and Vrushab 2/10 [4] chipping in, bowling Southern Cross University out for 37.

After a bye in the afternoon of Day 2, and a trip to Noosa, we entered into the first match in a double-headed Day 3 against the University of Tasmania. In our toughest test yet, UTAS started strongly, but it was the bowlers again who maintained a hold on the game, with Finn 4/13 [3], Vrushab 2/14 [4] and Adam 1/27 [3], coupled with some excellent fast bowling at the death holding UTAS to 9/113. In a nervy chase, it was Harrison who came in at the death and smashed 13 off 6 to give UTS the win by 3 wickets with 7 balls to spare.

It was far less tense against Deakin University, who were touted as something of a dark horse. But UTS put on a clinical bowling performance, bowling Deakin out for 37. Vrushab 3/13 [4], Chris 2/3 [2] and Finn 1/0 [0.3] were again amongst the wickets. Despite not taking a wicket, Harrison was the standout bowler, bowling 4 overs of serious pace, line and length for 9 runs. He was simply bowling too well to find an edge. It was one of those days.

Day 4 was another double header, the Quarter and Semi Final. Once again, UTS restricted a strong University of Woollongong side to 8/98 off 20 overs, with wickets to our spin twins Vrushab 3/18 [4] and Finn 2/15 [4], and Harrison 1/13 [4]. Another nervy chase, with three wickets falling for 17, a 50 to captain Zeeshan Ahmed left Adam to come in with 18 to win, hitting 16* off 9 to send UTS into the Semi.

The Semi Final against the University of Queensland started well, holding UOQ to a below par 9/117 off 20, with the usual suspects taking scalps (Finn 2/17 [4], Harrison 1/20 [4], Vrushab 1/35 [4]). Despite another mini top-order collapse, UTS chased it comfortably, Adam Cavenor 15* off 12 finishing the game.

The Final against the University of Sydney had a bit of everything. Losing the toss and being sent in, UTS got off to a flyer, passing 70 off the first 10 overs 2 down. After stumbling slightly, we finished 5/133, by far our biggest score of the tournament, but one we felt was defendable. Starting with energy, and a first ball bouncer from Michael Ninneman, UTS continued to chip away, with wickets to Harry 1/17 [4], Vrushab 1/22 [4] and Adam 1/17 [2]. However, with their opener being given 6 lives, the game was still in the balance. The game finally turned, with a run out from Adam in the deep, and we dismissed the opener for 56 in the 17th over, due to an incredible diving catch in the infield from Finn.

With another run out to Adam, UTS got the win, bowling Sydney Uni out for 115, winning by 18 runs.

Special shoutout to Vrushab Kumar, who finished equal highest wicket taker of the tournament, with 14 wickets at an average of 9.14, and Kenny Chu, who was named UTS MVP, scoring 107 runs at an average of 35.67, as well as taking 4 wickets, 4 catches and 2 run outs.

It was an awesome week, and UTS and the Bears are excited to continue their partnership and defend the trophy next year!

Media courtesy of Darren Hocking and Unisport Australia