Week 8 Wrap vs Easts, Sydney, Parramatta and Mosman

1st Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney vs Eastern Suburbs at Waverley Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/215 (96 overs) (J Greenslade 68*, J Rew 53) vs Eastern Suburbs

The Bears definitely came off second best on the opening day against Easts, but an extraordinary vigil by Jimmy Greenslade and Sam Alexander to put on 48 unbroken for the last wicket kept us just about in it.

Before this weekend, Alexander had scored just four First Grade runs; last season across the grades, in nine innings across 18 fixtures he made only 17. When he walked to the crease with the Bears in all sorts at 9/167, Easts smelled blood and we all expected to be bowling soon. But Alexander and Jimmy Greenslade had other ideas, grinding the Dolphins into the dust for a minute short of two hours and earning the right to go back out there next Saturday.

The day began very differently, with Justin Avendano winning a toss made more important by his absence next weekend to face the West Indies as part of a combined ACT/NSW XI, and he had no hesitation in batting first. The rest of the morning session followed the formula we have become accustomed to this season – a great start for the top order and James Rew not out at lunch.

Rew continued his superb two-day form, punishing anything overpitched in particular with an array of drives through the off side. Rew brought up 50 off 81 balls with a sweep, his tenth four, but lost his partner, Brent Atherton, for 28 the very next ball with the score on 79. Rew and Avendano negotiated the three overs to lunch with Avendano unfurling two boundaries of his own, and we went into the break 1/92 and feeling good.

After lunch is when it started to unravel, with 1/96 becoming 5/99 and 6/107 after Rew edged behind without adding to his lunchtime 53, Avendano was adjudged caught for 14 and numbers 4, 6 and 7 contributed seven runs between them. Robbie Aitken offered some much-needed resistance, making a dogged 8 off 41 balls, and Greenslade found fluency in their partnership of 37. But Aitken and Fletcher May (in his maiden First Grade appearance in this format) fell in successive balls and the Dolphins were rampant at 8/144.

Greenslade and James Campbell added a potentially vital 23 either side of tea before Campbell was caught at slip for 5, bringing Alexander to the crease in the 65th over. As one of the umpires remarked after the close of play, he never looked like getting out, instead frustrating the Easts bowlers for 96 balls, mostly forward defensives or drives to mid-off, compiling ten runs along the way including a cover driven four. Easts tried everything, including the new ball, but nothing could dislodge the Wall of Cremorne.

At the other end, Greenslade played a hugely mature innings which confirmed his status as a nailed-on First Grader. What he produced was far from his natural game, but exactly what the situation required as six wickets had tumbled at the other end since he came in at number 5. He trusted Alexander, as he had Campbell before him, so didn’t actively farm the strike, put away the rare poor ball, and was otherwise stoically patient. He walked off with Alexander at stumps having made 68 off 186 balls in 247 minutes – an incredible effort.

It will still take some magic with the ball to get out of this game, but Greenslade and Alexander have got us into a position where that is just possible – and before the bowlers have their go at the magic, they can strap the pads back on and frustrate the Dolphins some more!

2nd Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 160 75 overs (L Stewart 50, J Aitken 33) v Eastern Suburbs 5-48, 21 Overs (J Hedges 3/11)

On a beautiful sunny day the bears second grade side turned up to find a picturesque Tunks Park. With Lachy Stewart winning the toss and electing to bat first, based on the pitch looking like a typical Tunks wicket. Flat but a little bit in it for the bowlers in the first 20 overs.

With the ball seaming around early on, and an unnecessary run out between the Aitken brothers had the bears at 4/42 in the first 20 overs. Before a fight back between James Aitken (33) and Lachy Stewart (50) helped to steady the ship, soaking up the pressure and seeing out the Easts opening bowlers. With the outfield playing typically like Tunks it also meant that boundaries were hard to come by and Easts could keep their attacking fields.

With James getting out caught behind this brought in Harri Lee-Young who tried relieving the pressure with a couple of well stuck boundaries. Before getting out caught and bowled off the Easts spinner leaving the bears 6/130.

A valiant effort was made by the bears tail and Stewart, but with the ball still seaming around were eventually bowled out for 160 runs.

Although 160 runs is typically not a good score at Tunks this was no ordinary Tunks pitch. With the wicket still providing some bounce and seam in 80th over the team was confident to come back into the match provided they got a few early wickets, they didn’t disappoint.

Harrison May and James Aitken started the proceedings well both taking a wicket in their spells with figures of 1/12 and 1/7 respectively, and Jamison Hedges cleaning up the East’s night watchmen and number 3 bat with 3/11.

Leaving the game in a balanced state with Easts 5/48 needing another 113 runs to win on day 2.

3rd Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Trumper Park

UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs 7-343 (80 Overs) (P Lindsay 4/117)

The 3rd grade run-fest continued in Round 5, however unfortunately it wasn’t the Bears cashing in this time.

Trumper Park presented with a rock-hard lightening outfield and a flat pitch and unfortunately for the Bears, the toss was lost and a day in the dirt beckoned.

3s were disciplined early and at tea Easts were 3-115 with all 3 wickets to Lindsay. Restricting Easts to under 3 an over was a positive with Jacob Graham in particular bowling tightly without luck.

The Bears would need breakthroughs after tea to get on top and Nuwan Whyte provided, bowling the #3. However from here Easts put on 163 for the 5th wicket grinding down the Bears.

Ultimately the Bears lost some discipline in the field, with the ball and strategically, as Easts batted well to post 7/343 at the close of play. Credit to the Easts skipper Coles who batted very well for his century.

The Bears can take heart, that due to the good weather, the wicket and outfield should be similar to Day 1 and give our strong batting line up every opportunity to chase down whatever total Easts set us.

Women's 3rd Grade Round 6: UTS North Sydney v Sydney at Tunks International Sports Park

UTS North Sydney 5-62 def Sydney 61(E Aitken 3/14, E McKay 2/0, A Dongre 2/19)

UTS North Sydney won the toss and elected to bowl first, with Anjalin d'Cunha (3-1/5) immediately pressuring their openers, who struggled to score from her. But a few fours against Abby Williams (3-0/23) and Anushka Dongre (from Sydney's star opener started to create pressure on North Sydney until some superb bowling and a fantastic run out by Emily Aitken (4-3/14) brought the game back into balance with Sydney 4/60. Emily, Anushka (4-2/19), Evy McKay (2-2/0) and Nanthana Bhavan (1-1/0) were relentless as they knocked over the remaining 6 wickets for only one run.

With a low target of 62 for victory in 40 overs, the Bears decided to give players a go who haven't batted much this season. Sarah Gibbons (12) and Anna Peterson (10) opened aggressively, racing us to 29 within 6 overs. Jillian Edwards, Abby Williams and Anushka Dongre didn't trouble the scorers all that much, but Anjali d' Cunha produced one of her best batting performances of 13* and together with Amy Gibbons (1*) took us to victory with 28 overs to spare.

This was one of 3rd grade's most comprehensive victories ever and we look forward to many more in the coming weeks.

4th Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Eastern Suburbs at Snape Park

UTS North Sydney 8/169 (83 Overs) (W Carlile 51*, D Johnson 45, A Nigul 28) v Eastern Suburbs

After a disappointing round the week prior against Gordon, the mighty 4th grade Bears prepared to take on Easts at Snape Oval. A beautiful sunny day awaited both sides where Easts won the toss and chose to Bowl in search of ten wickets.

Openers Ahmer Amir and Adi Nigul had other ideas setting a strong front to the Bears attack. Some nice stroke play opened the day against a tight East bowling unit. Amir was the first to go unfortunately edging one behind. Adi continued to play fine strokes and running hard on a spongy Snape outfield. The Bears remained strong getting to drinks at 1/30 hoping to expand soon after.

Adi was the next to go ending with 28 to the board. Dylan Johnson continued where Adi left off pushing hard and taking on the East bowlers. A few fours to the short boundary for Dylan rolling before A Thomas chipped one to mid-on.

The Bears continued to toil until tea ending the session 3 down. Dylan Johnson and Robin Broom returned to the crumbling wicket after tea and Broom took on the Easts young leg spinner, sending him over mid on. Robins stint was short lived and Will Carlile walked out to the crease determined to stick around. Johnson and Carlile teamed out putting on a strong partnership, before Johnson kicked a low one for a well deserved 45.

Three partners joined Carlile out in the middle as he strode along to 50 as the day neared to a close. The bears finishing 8/169 a much better display of batting to last week and a fiercely more determined line up. The team heads into week 2 hungry for the 6 points.

5th Grade Round 5: UTS North Sydney v Gordon at Bon Andrews Oval

UTS North Sydney 241 (64.5 Overs) (K Karan 110, M Lloyd 58, K Dhawan 28) def Eastern Suburbs 112 (41.2 Overs) (H Charles 5/40, T Cole 3/43, D Thakur 2/8) & 7/85 (19 Overs) (H Charles 3/8, T Cole 3/41)

Now I am become Death, the destroyer of Worlds.' Bhagavad Gita

Outright victories require sacrifice and steadfast dedication to duty; and not unlike hapless Prince Arjuna made to bear witness on the true form of Vishnu so were 5th grade also humbled via their own apparitions of multi-armed embodiments of deity.

Chapter 1. The Cricket

Having the pleasure of a lowest grade fixture at Bon Andrews was certainly a highlight for most of the team who for 9 of the 11 players had not played at the ground before. The sun was out, the breeze was low and the gentle hum of Gore Hill road rage lapped across the field in a lackadaisical fashion; one could be forgiven for thinking that summer was here or that this was what life would be like after the horrors of la nina.

The home (away) captain found it unusual to be calling a toss however it broke to North Sydney and with bat in hand good work was made of the innings despite a shaky start and a collapsing end. Kaustav Karan displayed poise and talent for a very silky and powerful 110 and was ably supported by a burger-less Michael Lloyd who contributed 58 to their partnership of 167; perhaps the highlight of Kaustav’s dominant display was the first 3 balls after the drinks break: one over mid on, one over mid off, and then one to split long on and long off right down the middle for three straight boundaries.

After losing Kaustav and Lloyd the final innings tally of 240 felt as if it should have been closer to 300; Kishna Dhawan’s 28 was a great contribution at the end and left some space for the bowlers to work with.

Eastern Suburbs lost wickets early and never recovered despite a good partnership in the middle of their innings; Henry Charles bowled with pace, bounce and control to overpower the majority of the line up and finished with figures of 5/40 (15). Between he and Tom Cole (3/43) most of the damage was done and first innings concluded at 112. The follow on was enforced and Easts once again found themselves in peril at 7/85 (Charles and Cole unstoppable at 3/8 and 3/41 respectively), staring down a defeat by an innings with 41 overs left to complete...

Chapter 2. The Helicopters

Very rarely would you witness a member of the constabulary enter a cricket field in the tightly held neighbourhood of North Sydney however one such vision did appear whilst the bears did slumber; dreaming of 10 points, a song and the summer night to follow. Instructions to vacate the ground by authorities tore us from that now distant and unlived future and with it came the shock of whirling blades, curling hessian and flying covers.

The natural order of things cricket re-established themselves in a battle of the laws; page after page of frantic playing condition confirmations and phone calls to various administrators for clarity on such delays but alas all in vain as the offending shadows grew longer and darker with each passing minute and over lost.

As that great Prince succumbed to the wisdom of Vishnu so too the valiant bears in turn relinquish to a higher power; and whilst not destroyers of worlds certainly destroyers of outrights.

Poidevin-Gray Shield Round 4: UTS North Sydney v Mosman at Allan Border Oval

UTS North Sydney 5/192 (S Gumbs 62, A Cavenor 44, J Rew 38) def Mosman 191 (M Jenkins 4/28, H Lee-Young 3/31, L Roughley 2/39)

PGs made their way Allan Border oval for the first of 2 one-dayers. The bears lost the toss and were sent into the field in cloudy conditions. Both openers for Mosman started well before skipper Jenkins got a wicket with his second ball removing Stirling McAvoy. The following partnership for Mosman seemed ominous before Roughley struck to dismiss the other opener. Seemed to be the wicket for starts as the following 2-3 batter made 30’s before being dismissed by Jenkins, Harry and Everett.

Everett bowled a superb spell of 1/19. Roughly came back to take his second leaving him with great figures of 2/39. Harry and Mac closed the innings with Harry finishing with 3/31(6) and Jenkins 4-28(9).

Mosman finished with 191. It was an all England opening pairing with Rew and Gummsy opening. Rew was dismissed for a run a ball 38 bringing Cavenor to the crease. Both batters looked to take away the game before both being dismissed. Gummsy though bought up his first bears 50 by making 62. While Cav was undone for 44. This bought Jenkins and John Nevell to the crease. Nevell and Jago Lewis were dismissed with one run needed bringing Harry to the crease. The bears bought up the winning runs with Jenkins and Harry both not out. This win gave bears top spot of the Sixers league and a perfect 4/4 so far.

Brewer Shield Round 6: UTS North Sydney v Parramatta at Merrylands Oval

UTS North Sydney 9/143cc (39 overs - rain reduced) (S Kuncham 39, S Julien 30) def by Parramatta 8/144 (37.2 of 39 over) (M Winslow 3/29, E Aitken 2/14, S Julien 2/19)

UTS North Sydney went head-to-head against Parramatta, at Merrylands oval under overcast conditions. Winning the toss, UTS North Sydney chose to bat. Unfortunately, the inclement weather kept persisting, forcing the game to delay. After much delay, it was settled that the girls would play a 39 over match. Shiloh Julien (30) and Sam Kuncham (39) opening the innings provided the bears a good start with a 57 run partnership. Both looked in good nick before Shiloh was dismissed stumping by a Parra spinner. Adelaide Hicks (5) went in at no.3 and had a good start, although she was sent off early just chipping it up to mid-off. Coming in at no.4 Eva Jenns (5) looked extremely well for her first match in Brewers before being dismissed at midwicket. Bears lost momentum as Isabel Selems (4), Sam (39), Emily Aitken (1) and Georgia Macdonald (0) got out in quick succession. Charlotte Moss (11) Cassie Watson (17) and Madeleine Winslow (8) stitched together some valuable batting partnerships down the order to get the team up to a competitive score of 9/143.

The Bears took the field with much determination and confidence to defend their score of 143. Opening bowlers Georgia Macdonald and Madeleine Winslow opened the bowling for the Bears. The Parra openers kept scoring at good rate without losing a wicket to the medium pacers. Soon after the power play of 8 overs, spinners Shiloh Julien and Emily Aitken restricted the run flow and dismissed Parra’s main stays. Following the spinners, Adelaide Hicks, Sam Kuncham and Ani (Anjali) Uthappa put their best foot forward, however, runs started to flow for Parra. Shiloh and Emily came back to finish their spells put further halt to Parra’s innings. Together Shiloh and Emily took 4 wickets for 33 runs in 16 overs. Apart from the two spinners, Parra looked comfortable against the all bowlers and punished the lose deliveries to race towards the target. Madeleine Winslow in partnership with Isabel Selems who was bowling tight on the other end took 3 wickets to put pressure back on Parra. Georgia Macdonald made an outstanding runout leaving Parra with only 2 wickets to reach the target. The Bears kept constant pressure on the Parra batters, however, Parra reached the target in the second last over. It was a close game with lots of ups and downs, and even with all the rain and weather delays, Bears gave it all till the end. With a bit more energy in the field and few more runs on the scoreboard, this game would’ve gone either way.

Media courtesy of Tony Johnson, Malcolm Trees, Jeff Williamson, Greg Buckley Adam Cavenor and UTS North Sydney members.