Week 1 Wrap vs Randwick-Petersham

1st Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney v Randwick-Petersham at Coogee Oval

UTS North Sydney 2/161 (35 overs of 41 allowable) (T Jagot 64*, A Bariol 55*) def Randwick Petersham 8/182 (48 overs, cc) (O Knight 3/38, R Aitken 2/32)

We began the new season where we finished the last, taking on Randy Petes at Coogee Oval, but with a sense of anticipation at the opportunity ahead. Despite losing Jack James to Gordon and with two players missing in Tim Reynolds (injury) and Matt Alexander (on holiday and, as it happens, getting engaged to Holly around about when we walked off the field at the end of the game), a strong side was named and confidence was high after a win in the trial fixture. Aiden Bariol played a valedictory match before his season starts next week for his new club in Hobart, keeping wicket while we await the arrival of our English pro.

Some wet patches on the outfield led to a delayed start, but the umpires made a pragmatic call and we tossed up at 10am for a 10.30 start, with just two overs per side lost. Tom Jagot called correctly the second time, after the first toss was deemed void due to the coin landing at an angle on the grass. It was a good toss to win with the damp field and rain around, and Tom wasted no time in sending Petes in and asking his bowlers to warm up.

The openers, James Campbell and Olly Knight, started tightly, with Campbell opening his account with a maiden and neither giving much away, before they combined in the sixth over for our first top-grade wicket of the season. A miscued pull shot from Camden Hawkins went straight up in the air and Campbell pulled off a superb catch running round from deep fine leg. 1/7 became 2/12 when Bariol pouched a catch behind off Knight in the eight over. At 2/19 at the end of the Powerplay, Jagot made a double change and brought James Aitken and Mac Jenkins into the attack. Aitken did as he so often does, giving the batters nothing and making full use of the conditions, and had only conceded three runs before taking the key wicket of Riley Ayre caught behind in his third over. 3/31 and the Bears were well on top.

The wicket brought former Bear Adam Docos to the crease, and he accumulated a partnership with Anthony Sams to try to get Petes back into the game. They put on 29 runs in 11 overs before Sam Alexander, recently introduced to the attack to replace Aitken, tempted Docos into a drive and Aiden Bariol did the rest when he missed. It got better even from 4/60, with two wickets in an over for Rob Aitken with the score on 78. The key man, Sams, holed out to Olly Knight off Rob Aitken for 37, and two balls later Aitken snared Basit Ali lbw leaving the score 6/78 and the Bears elated. James Campbell returned to the attack and was successful with his first ball back, thanks to a sharp catch by Jagot at point. At 7/85 in the 35th over, the Petes committee members in the pavilion thought the game was over.

However, the eighth wicket brought together Daya Singh and Ashley Burton, who seemed to be batting on a different track from their teammates. Singh in particular took advantage of the short boundary on the pavilion side, smashing five sixes (and only one four) in his innings of 61* off 49 balls, to pull his side out of the mire – not the first time he’s done that against the Bears. Burton contributed 32 to the partnership of 90 before missing a straight one from Knight in the final over. Petes finished 8/182 off 48 – a lot more than it might have been after 83 in the last 10 overs, but a very gettable run rate and with evidence of batting having started to get a bit easier.

Tom Jagot and Brent Atherton opened up for the Bears and combined watchful defence with punishing any loose balls, Jagot hitting two fours in the fourth over to the delight of his teammates watching on. Petes skipper Daya Singh rotated his bowlers but couldn’t get the breakthrough, as the openers accumulated a strong partnership and, critically with rain around, a big buffer against the DLS par. By the time Atherton fell, for 25 in the 18th with the score on 68, we were well on top. Justin Avendano was adjudged lbw a couple of overs later, bringing Bariol to the crease for the final time (for now) for the Bears.

Jagot and Bariol took the score to 2/84 in the 25th over before the rain got heavy enough to need the covers on, and 7 overs of the Bears’ chase were lost due to the 38-minute break in play. Messrs Duckworth, Lewis and Stern determined a revised target of 161 off 41, so another 77 off the remaining 16.3, a tick over 5 per over. The slight increase in required rate galvanised the batters into a more aggressive style after the break, with fours all around the wicket and excellent rotating of the strike.

Jagot brought up a nearly chanceless 50 off 76 balls, and Bariol added his own off 49 in what ended up being the final over, as we ran the total down with six overs to spare. In 10.3 overs after the rain delay, just 17 dot balls were faced in a masterclass of limited overs batting from the Bears pair, with Jagot finishing 64* off 94 and Bariol 55* off 53.

Aiden Bariol finishes his two and a bit years with the Bears with 1,089 First Grade runs at 33.8 and 54 wicketkeeping dismissals, and gave us a clear reminder of why he will be missed. We wish him the best of luck in Tasmania, as he pushes for deserved higher honours.

2nd Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney v Randwick-Petersham at Bon Andrews

UTS North Sydney 8/242 (50 overs) (G Aitken 78, H Lee-Young 53, F Nixon-Tomko 25) def Randwick Petersham 110 (33.2 overs) (L Roughly 4/22, C Savage 2/24)

The Bears return to a newly refurbished Bon Andrews to start off their season under new leadership against a strong Randy-Petes side. With the deck looking uncharacteristically green, the Bears lost the toss and were sent into bat.

Lead by a newly formed opening partnership of Finn Nixon-Tomko (25) and Glen Aitken (78) the bears started off the season on the front foot, with the openers posting a chanceless 50 run partnership. Bruised, battered and absolutely gassed, GA continued on scoring freely against the Randy-Petes bowlers before being caught on the boundary by a spectacular effort from the man described as “the second grade Schwarzenegger”.

From there on it was the bombsman Harri Lee-Young left with the job of closing out the Bears innings. On his way to 53 Harri launched not 1…. not 2… but 4 bombs comfortably clearing the boundaries of Bon Andrews on the way of guiding the Bears to 242.

With gloomy clouds overhead and the threat of a washout ruining the teams efforts with the bat, the Bears had to make some early inroads. The opening bowlers did exactly that with Justin Rodgie and Jamieson Hedges striking with their opening spells, before leaving it to Chris Savage returning to second grade with two more poles of his own.

With Randy-Petes 4 wickets down early the bears were on top and wanting to capitalise. Enter Lachlan Roughly, who put the nail in the coffin with his 4/22 on debut for the bears, the last of which was taken with a spectacular catch at deep midwicket by Baran Kumar to put the icing on the cake. The Bears bowling Randy-Petes out for 110 to claim the bonus point to start off the season.

3rd Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney v Randwick-Petersham at Petersham Oval

UTS North Sydney 69 (33.2 Overs) def by Randwick-Petersham 2/73 (19.1 overs)

Third Grade assembled an experienced and talented line up to run it back vs our opponents in last weekend’s trial fixture (and Round 15 from season 21/22) in Randwick Petersham.

Unfortunately skipper Lindsay call incorrectly at the toss and 3rds were sent in on a deck that had some life to it.

There were no highlights in the batting performance other than Dylan Johnson’s spirited 24* on his 3rd grade debut. The top orders techniques were tested in the challenging conditions and by good Randwick-Petersham bowling and the Bears were found wanting. The adjustment from preseason synthetic wickets was painful. Bears bundled out for 69.

Nuwan Whyte and Everett Oxenham bowled nicely in their spells in our defence taking one wicket each, but 69 was far too little and RPs passed our total in the 20th over - winning comfortably by 8 wickets.

4th Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney v Randwick-Petersham at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 5/106 (34.3 overs) (O Jago-Lewis 67) def (D/L) Randwick Petersham 9-149 (50 overs cc) (J Edwards 3/23, R Adabala 3/26, A Thomas 2/24)

Another season ready to kick off at Tunks International Sports Park, another week of rain, and another weekend of Bernie preparing an absolute belter of a wicket.

With a new skipper at the helm in 4s this year, Alex Perry brought his formula for success from last season in 5s, winning the toss and electing to bowl. As per last year, the decision seemed to pay off from the get go, with James Edwards and Matt Cole put Randwick Petersham on the back foot from the first two overs. 12 overs later, the opening pair had the visitors struggling at 4/13. Edwards the chief destroyer, taking 3 wickets, a sharp catch to debutant Adabala at gully, along with two caught behinds by UK import Oscar Jago-Lewis. The fourth was also, caught behind by OJL, but off the bowling of Cole.

The bears on top, turned to spin, with Vrushab Kumar and Ravi Adabala building pressure, whilst Cole and Aiden Thomas spear headed the attack from the top end. Randy-Petes fought back through the middle as the pitch began to flatten out, before Adabala and Thomas struck, with two good catches taken by Perry at Cover and Kumar at midwicket off the respective bowlers to remove the two set batsmen.

Thomas and Adabala picked up the next three wickets whilst the tail scratched their way to a sub-par score of 149 at the end of the visitors 50 overs.

Singh and Nigul strode to the middle in trying conditions, with the rain beginning to build and spit through the break, and the pair came off after 5 overs with the score at 0/6 when play was stopped for rain.

After the showers passed, the game resumed, the bears revised target was now 142 off 45 overs. Nigul and Singh began to push the issue before both were caught off edges, while Burinaga and Thomas were also dismissed cheaply falling victim to the sharp Randwick attack.

In stepped the man of the hour, Jago-Lewis, who took the game on with no fear, hitting boundaries all around the wagon wheel, despite the slow outfield. He was well supported by youngster Tom Hogan, who rotated the strike and kept the scoreboard moving.

Jago-Lewis’ heroic 67 was undone with the end in sight, hauling out in the deep, leaving the score at 5/106 after 34.2 overs. This is where the score would remain, as another heavy batch of rain was pouring down as OJL was dismissed, leaving the skipper to negotiate one ball before the players came off for the final time.

The Bears got up by 6 runs on the DLS system, and with only one other game resulting in the grade over the weekend, the side secured a very valuable 6 points to kick start a season the team has high hopes for…

5th Grade Round 1: UTS North Sydney v Randwick-Petersham at Kensington Oval

UTS North Sydney 7-223 (47 overs cc) (W Carlile 109, H Riseborough 31) def Randwick Petersham 125 (36.5 overs) (S Vohra 2/17, D Thakur 2/23)

After a successful 21/22 season, the 5th grade bears are looking to go one step further this season having made the semi-finals last year and bring home the David Sherwood Cup.

New skipper Michael Lloyd was unlucky at the first toss of the season, and after a week of rain, the bears were sent in to bat. Youngster Henry Riseborough and newcomer Nihal Desai weathered the storm of the new ball with a gritty opening stand of 30 before Desai was dismissed for 21.

This brought another debutant to the crease, Will Carlile, who freshly moved to Sydney from the Sunshine state. And what a debut it would turn out to be, Carlile and Riseborough putting on 82 before Riseborough was bowled for 31. Carlile 50 not out at this stage was not done.

With support from the skipper and Kaustav Karan, Carlile continued to dispatch the ball to the boundary on his way to 109. He brought up his 100 with a boundary through the covers, marking only the 2nd 5th grade ton in 3 seasons.

The Bears finished their reduced 47 overs at 7-223, an imposing score for any 5th grade side to chase down.

After a now patented opening spell of bowling straight through his allotment, Jack Thomas kicked off the run defence in typical fashion taking 1 for 18 off his 9 overs, with the support of Dhawan, Vohra and Riseborough, the Bears had Randwick 4/40 off 19 overs.

Vohra and Thakur continued to spin a web around Randwick, bowling tightly and restricting the flow of runs, both taking more pressure wickets.

A further rain delay however made the contest much more spicy than it should have been down the stretch, the delay wiping off 8 overs and ultimately 73 runs off the total.

However, despite this, the bears prevailed, bowling the hosts out for 125 and kicking their title aspirations off in style.

Media courtesy of Adam Cavenor.