Preview Round 2 v Western Suburbs

What a great start to the new season with 4 out of 5 wins while our Metro sides also got off to a flyer. That gave us 90 points in the Club Championship to be fourth behind Gordon on 128. And our batsmen had a field day scoring 1,160 runs across the 5 grades with 1st Grade setting a new Limited Overs high score record of 7-332—just 4 more than the 5-328 we knocked up against Blacktown also at Coogee on 23 January 2010.

What a great start to the new season with 4 out of 5 wins while our Metro sides also got off to a flyer. That gave us 90 points in the Club Championship to be fourth behind Gordon on 128. And our batsmen had a field day scoring 1,160 runs across the 5 grades with 1st Grade setting a new Limited Overs high score record of 7-332—just 4 more than the 5-328 we knocked up against Blacktown also at Coogee on 23 January 2010. Anthony Sams with his highest 1st Grade score of 152 and Jake Scicluna who hit 89 also rewrote the record book with a partnership of 217 for the third wicket. That beat the 188 scored by Simon Katich and Usman Khawaja (a couple of handy players there!) against St George at Hurstville in 2007-08.  We also lost the toss in the first four grades.

And speaking about good partnerships, here’s a fitting extract from The Arrow newspaper on Friday 7 October 1921 (almost 95 years ago) prior to the opening of the 1921-22 Grade Cricket season written by the editor J C Davis under the heading “Most Glorious Thing in Cricket” (note there was only three grades in those days):

To my view the most beautiful thing in cricket is not brilliant batting and superb bowling, but high class team-work. There is nothing better, for instance, than seeing two men at the wickets who know one another so well and who run between wickets with ease and success that charm, though the fieldsmen are at their top and ever looking for the one false move and then to run them out.

Here you have the team-work on both sides, the batsmen collaborating for the runs, the bowlers and fieldsmen working together as one man, with the individual fielders on their toes all the time. That is the cricket that grips. And that is the cricket we want to see marking the First Graders in every district. And not only the First, but the Second and Third Graders. And there is not the slightest reason why it should not be general right through cricket in this country.

THIS WEEKEND: Once again it is a round of 50 overs-a-side matches in all five grades THIS SATURDAY 1 October starting at 9.30 am. There is no play on the holiday Monday.  We are up against Western Suburbs who got up in the first three grades last Saturday with Michael Clarke skippering the 1st Grade side and making 99*. Michael played one game last season and it was the only one the side won all season. Unfortunately that was against us at Pratten Park and cost us a spot in the finals.  In our 15 seasons we have played Wests 63 times in all grades for a sound record: 38 wins; 22 losses, 3 draws. We need to be on our guard however, as we have a bit of a “second round syndrome”. In fact, of the 75 scheduled second round matches over those 15 years we have won only 26 and lost 31 with 18 drawn. Hopefully we can improve on that record on Saturday.

An interesting statistic coming out of last week’s first round. In the five one-day games we bowled 244.3 overs and conceded 144 extras which included 98 wides! A real incentive to improve this weekend.

1st GRADE is at Petersham Oval:  What a season opener last Saturday! In almost 100 overs 655 runs were scored at Coogee Oval. Anthony Sams topped the 150 mark for the winners with state batsman Ben Rohrer hitting a magnificent unconquered 205 for the losers Fairfield-Liverpool! It’s the same team this week with the exception of Jason Sangha who is in Brisbane playing in the under 17 championships. Shaun Eaton comes into the side. Our record against Wests over the years is so-so with 7 wins to their 6. Prior to last year’s loss we had won 4 in a row against them. Adam Semple needs 52 runs for 4,500 1st Grade runs.

2nd GRADE is at Punchbowl Oval: James Tyson and Sam Mackay come into the side this weekend to replace Shaun Eaton and Pat Magann who is on the injured list.  Our record against Wests is 7 wins to their 4 with one drawn. Our win against them last year (9-249 to 155 in a one-dayer at Blick Oval) was the first since 2010-11.  Last week Wests beat Mosman 8-233 to 151. Suffan Hassan has 997 runs for the club needing only 3 for 1,000.

3rd GRADE plays at Coogee Oval: Our record against Wests is the same as 2s–7 wins to their 4 with one drawn. Our win against them last year (213 to 190 in a one-dayer) was the first since 2008-09 which was the last of a 6 game winning sequence. Last week Wests beat Mosman 8-196 to 194 at Rawson Oval. John McLoughlin is on the cusp of another club milestone needing just 75 runs to be the first player to reach 6,000.

4th GRADE is at Blick Oval: Jack Standing comes into the team after a brilliant all-round performance last week with 64 and 4-35 in 5th Grade. We have beaten Wests 8 times to their 4 wins although 5 of our wins came in the first 5 years we played them. They won 4-192 to 8-190 last year at Coogee. Last week Wests lost to Mosman 160 to 167 at Blick Oval. Skipper David Bourke needs just 5 runs for 4,500 for the club while David Mitchell needs 49 for 3,500.

5th Grade plays at Kensington Oval: 5th Grade has the best record against Wests winning 9 times to their 4 although they beat us 156 to 97 at Punchbowl Oval last summer. Last week Wests played on Sunday at Allan Border Oval and drew with Mosman when rain set in. A good win last week has the side off to a flyer.

Metropolitan Cup from Jeremy Jastrzab: The Metropolitan Cup season got off to a great start with both sides chalking up wins of varying impressiveness, and will be looking to gather some momentum. The Greens had the rain rules fall in their favour after Sydney Uni made hay from a straw-like Petersham pitch. They return to Marrickville to take on Mosman, who look like they are still led by the evergreen Jay Patel. The Golds started off their season much more positively than the last with a resounding bowling performance against a shell-shocked Georges River. They are back at home at Snape Park on Sunday against UNSW, who are cramming all their players into the one team this season.

Lyall Gardner

PS  Randwick Petersham had a real connection in the recent trial match between Australia and Cricket Ireland in Benoni, South Africa. The club supplied both opening bats and opening bowlers. Usman Khawaja (82) the club’s champion bat and current member David Warner (48) won the day over last season 1st grader Barry McCarthy (0-57) and Peter Chase (0-55) who trained with the club last summer.

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