The first round to herald 2021 saw Premier Cricket align for the first time as the Top 5 Grades faced Wests while in Metro Cup Gold faced Sydney Uni Blue for the second time and Green versed Georges River.
In First Grade James Widerstrom became First Grade cap #139 in only his 4th match for the Randy Petes.

Lefand Group 1st Grade @ Pratten Park

Result: Randwick Petersham 5-288 (50 overs) P Gaur 92*, R Ayre 68, M Everett 53 def Wests 149 (37.1 overs) A Semple 5-21, R Ayre 2-22

Scorecard link

Matt Everett returns with 53

After losing their way a little leading up to Christmas, 1st Grade defending premiers, Randwick Petersham, struck back in style, with a resounding win over Western Suburbs in a Limited Overs match at Pratten Park.

Sent in to bat after a rainy week, Will Affleck and Matt Everett, playing his first match of the season, put on 53 for the first wicket. Following Affleck’s dismissal for 11, Anthony Sams took to the attack, hitting 2 fours and a six in an entertaining 26 off just 22 balls. Everett’s departure at 3-97 after making an excellent 53, his third 1st Grade half-century, was quickly followed by Tim Affleck for a 4-102 scoreline. But the combination of Riley Ayre and 21 year old, Puru Gaur, steadied the ship with an aggressive approach, which brought about the team’s second highest partnership of the season, belting 139 for the fifth wicket, before Ayre was bowled for 68 off 73 balls with 6 boundaries and 2 sixes. Gaur continued the good work to end up 92* off just 75 balls with 5 fours and 5 massive sixes. He was not alone in the final overs with Adam Semple thrashing 22* off only 9 balls with a four and 2 sixes. The final score of 5-288 from the allotted 50 overs included 23 fours and 10 sixes.

The dream start to the New Year continued when the Randwick Petersham “iron warrior”, Adam Semple, took a wicket with his first and third balls to have the Magpies reeling at 2-0. And while West’s skipper Josh Clarke took his season tally to 644 with a dogged 43, it was a tough ask, ending with Wests all out in 37.1 overs for 149, to go down by 139 runs. Semple finished with the magnificent figures of 5-21 off 9 overs–his seventh “five-for” in a career tally of 365 1st Grade wickets. While the remaining five wickets were shared by four bowlers, one was taken by 1st Grade debutant #139 James Widerstrom in his first over. He finished with 1-19 off 3 overs in what was just his fourth match for the club, having played in 2nd and 3rd Grade matches smashing 3 half centuries in the lower order. The win keeps Randwick Petersham’s hopes well and truly alive for a place in the Limited Overs Cup Qualifying Finals. The final round in the competition will be played next Saturday at Coogee against Gordon.

Lyall Gardner OAM

James Widerstrom #139 – debut wicket

Suttons City Rosebery 2nd Grade @ Petersham Oval

Result: Randwick Petersham 222 (50 0vers) S Sharma 92, R Anjum 39 def by Wests 7-223 (49.5overs) S Sharma 5-29

Scorecard link

Jamie Hemphrey

Second grade once again have been defeated by the barest of margins in a thrilling game at Petersham Oval. Randwick Petersham were sent in on a soft wicket but batted well to post a competitive 222, highlighted by Scott Sharma’s 92, along with valuable contributions from Rehan Anjum (39) as well as Ben Montedoro and Ashley Burton late in the innings. It was Sharma’s day with the ball also as he took 5-29 off his full ten overs to cap off a remarkable all-round day, however could not get us across the line as Western Suburbs scrambled through for a single with one ball remaining to win the game by 3 wickets.

Jackson Eldridge (c)

Petersham RSL 3rd Grade @ Punchbowl Park

Result: Randwick Petersham 152 (45.1 overs) K Mullins 44, S Deepak 33 def by Wests 4-153 (44.4 overs) J Mahony-Brack 2-28

Scorecard link

Firstly, I’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and extend my best wishes to all in the RPC family for 2021. Now on to the cricket…. Unfortunately, it was a matter of New Year same result for the luckless third grade outfit as we went down swinging in another game that we were ultra-competitive in. We arrived at Punchbowl Oval to a lush outfield and a wet deck, far from ideal conditions for cricket. However, after almost losing a few fingers below the surface of the pitch and some waiting around it was decided 46 overs a side would be the order of the day with an 11:45 start. With a soft and wet surface, the toss was always going to go a long way to determining the outcome of the game in a battle of 19th position versus 20th  on the ladder. Unfortunately for us tails did in fact fail in New South Wales and we were inserted by the Magpies.

We fought extremely hard to scramble a score of 152 under tough batting conditions against a hungry Magpies attack sniffing blood in the water as balls reared off a length, jagged, turned and bounced on a challenging surface. James Mahony-Brack weathered the early storm batting patiently for his 29 before having one stop on him and chipping it to the fielder. Jack Lyle played some beautiful strokes before finding a fielder in the deep to fall for 18. Kel Mullins batted with the grit and determination we have come to expect from him compiling a gritty 44 which looked to give us the ascendancy before we lost 4-7 in the space of 7 overs to have us reeling at 8/115 enter Sadeep Deepak who came out swinging batting at number 10 blazing 33 in quick time including 2 horns giving us something to bowl at with 152 on the board before he was the last man out in the last over of the innings.

Kel Mullins

With the ball we toiled away on an improving pitch with the Magpies having the best of the conditions with both bat and ball on the day. Early in the innings we had some very close LBW shouts turned down and balls falling in gaps between fielders as we pushed hard for early poles to get us into the game. However, it was not to be as the Magpies chased down our total 4 down with 7 balls to spare. James Mahony-Brack was the pick of the bowlers (2-28 off 9) he was well supported by Akhter ‘Hollywood’ Hussain (1-24 off 10) and Sadeep Deepak (1-29 off 6).

All in all, a disappointing start to the New Year to go down in the way we did.  However, the effort and commitment from the team could not be faulted. Unfortunately, the fortune cookie did not crumble our way this time around. On to next week.

Jaya Murdita (c)

Mellick Wealth Management 4th Grade @ Kensington Oval

Result: Randwick Petersham 128 (38 overs) J Segal 40, D Sidney 36 def by Wests 9-129 (49.5 overs) B Abbasi 3-7, H Schultz 2-18

Scorecard link

Batting first at Kenso, the Randy Petes were looking to fix the issues that had plagued them in the first half of the year. It didn’t start very well, losing three early wickets and at 3/28 we looked in dire straits.

Josh Segal (40) and Bilal Abbasi (15) put on a solid partnership, before Damo Sidney (36) came in and blasted boundaries at will. Unfortunately the tail failed to wag, and we were bowled out for 130 with 13 overs to spare.

Damian Sidney

The bowling started in brilliant fashion, with Scott Stirling (1-8 off 10) and Harry Schultz (2-18 off 10) skittling their top order. Wests showed some fight in the middle period, before a frantic finish saw us almost claim victory. With only 25 runs left to chase and 5 wickets in hand, the visitors looked home – but some top-shelf bowling from Bilal Abbasi (3-7 off 5) and Luca Lopes (1-18 off 6) almost got us over the line in what would have been the Randy Petes second win of the year.

It wasn’t to be however, and the lads will be disappointed in another ordinary batting display. Leaving 13 overs worth of runs out there in a tight game proved costly in the end.

Liam O’Loughlin (c)

Clovelly Community Bank Branch Bendigo Bank 5th Grade @ Blick

Result: Randwick Petersham 139 (45.3 overs) G Chandar 51, C Sapariya 23 def by Wests 5-149 (50 overs) J Braithwaite 2-21

Scorecard link

RPCC won the toss and decided to bowl on a wicket that had a bit of moisture and was a bit soft but would get harder as the day progressed. The outfield was spongy and singles and twos would be the way to go as balls hit along the ground would be hard to reach the fence.

Thanks to Freddy who took the team through the warm up drills and PK with the fieldling drills.

The team congratulated medium pacer Jackson Dodd who was making his well earned grade debut and also welcomed Ben Chaplin who returned to play for RPCC after a stint with UNSW.

RPCC bowlers were asked to bowl to their field and not give the batsman room to cut or pull. The wicket will do the rest if the ball is pitched just back of a length and important not to gift away runs with short balls and full tosses.

Jackson Dodd (0-18 off 9) was the pick of the bowlers with fine line and length and started off his grade debut with 4 maidens on the trot. Really unfortunate not to grab 2 or 3 wickets.

Dane Coombs (1-35 off 8), Jack Braithwaithe (2-21  off 7), Freddy Whalebone (0-12 off 5) made good use of the tennis ball bounce and bowled some unbelievable short deliveries. Our spin duo of Pratulya Kashyap (1-35 off 10) and Guru Chander (1-18 off 9) bowled tight lines and PK at times spun the ball at right angles. We would have easily restricted Western Suburbs to under 130 if it was not for the 23 wides. Ben Chaplin (0-7 off 2) also bowled.

Guru Chandar – maiden RPCC 50

The RPCC batsmen were asked to be cautious in the early overs and leave as many balls if they were short due to the extra bounce.

Sean Rushton (9) and Freddy Whalebone (2) looked determined to stay and guts out the first 10 overs but unfortunately Freddy was given caught behind in the 7th over with the score just 10.

Chintan Sapariya (23) batted courageously and with Sean put on a partnership of 32. After Sean got out Chintan unfortunately was adjudged LBW on a track with extra bounce.

After the fall of 3 quick wickets in the space of just 4 runs Fabian Heaton (9) and Guru Chander (51) fought back with a 33 run partnership. Guru was the aggressor and punished the spinners to all parts of the onside boundary with well calculated aerial shots.

Just when things were going RPCC’s way Fabian fell when the score was on 95. But, with 4 wickets in hand and 55 runs to get RPCC were still right in the game.

But, 2 quick wickets in the space of just 10 runs brought the pressure right back onto the RPCC with 45 runs in deficit.

Jack Braithwaithe (14) swung the game right back into RPCC favour and with Guru put on a quick fire 28 runs to get us to 133 and RPCC sniffing victory with 6 overs to go.

But, disappointingly like the last game against Bankstown we were bundled out 10 runs short with 5 overs to spare.

We as a team are doing so well but just not having the luck to finish with a win.

Next week we take on Gordon who are 8th placed at Kensington Oval. We must turn our luck around and finish with the chocolates on our home turf.

With a big target for RPCC to chase down the RPCC batters were asked to bat with intent and good positive running between wickets was paramount. Also, it would be hard for the Blacktown bowlers to get through their overs as the temperature was now just over 40 degrees. Any opportunity to punish the bad balls was not to be missed.

Fabian Heaton (c)

Titan Fitness Metro Gold @ Snape

Result: Randwick Petersham 108 (47 overs)  def by Sydney Uni Blue 6-110 (33.2 overs) A Bhat 4-21

Scorecard link

Gold for the third time in eight matches this season were facing off against a Sydney University team, with a return encounter against their Blue team at Snape Park. Having rolled us cheaply in the previous encounter, the students once again thought to take on the batting line up by bowling first. Neale ‘Cindy’ Crawford and Angus ‘Beefy’ Beaumont started off solidly enough, but the latter was beaten on the pull shot. John Stewart got off the mark for 2021, and his 6’4 frame seemed to be a target for the Uni opening bowler who got bouncer happy. Despite playing on a hard and true surface, wickets fell regularly to have the Gold team facing ignominy with the score at 6-36.

Jordan Segal in only his second game for the Randy Petes led a powerful counterattack to put the students on the back foot, before a former Randy Pete took his scalp; Jordie will be much better for the experience. For there, E-Young ‘Pingu’ Khoo and skipper Jeremy Jastrzab dragged the score back to some respectability with the highest partnership of the innings. The returning Ben Thomas landed a few lusty blows to ensure the 100 mark was breached, while the final score was helped with penalty runs for the ball hitting the wicket keepers helmet on the ground.

With only 108 to defend, it was vital that the Gold team got off to a good start with the ball. Unfortunately, the students raced to 0-45 in 9 overs, and it wasn’t until the introduction of Ashish Bhat that the scoring rate was halted. Varying his pace and lengths with aplomb, while bowling the best lines that he has this season, Ash (4-21) kept us in the game by dismissing 4 of the top 5 batsmen with a pair of LBWs and a pair of caught behinds. After a tough start, Thanush Gowda found his lines and kept things tight from the other end and also picked up a brace of wickets (2-29). After being 0-54, the students limped over the line six down as we took 6-51. A better start with the ball and a few more runs will surely have the Golds back in contention of the winner’s circle next round.

Ashish Bhat

Cartwright Insurance Metro Green  @ Bland Oval

Result: Randwick Petersham 60 (18.3 overs) A Rasheed 33 def by Georges River 5-61 (15.4 overs) W Preston 3-30

Scorecard link

The trip to Bland Oval can sometimes be a lottery – has the wicket been covered or has the home team been in a rustic mood and left the deck to the mercy of the Gods. Unfortunately for the Green team, following weeks of rain and inclement weather of the Christmas and New Years break, it was the latter. With the added ‘bonus’ of losing the toss, the obvious result was that Green would have to bat first. There isn’t too much to read into what followed next – balls off a length spat like a trampoline, leaving a procession of batsmen not knowing just how high the next one would bounce. Only Dr Asif Rasheed held firm and ensure that all manner of record lows were avoided. Special mention to Yuvraj Mengi on figuring out to get out of his crease and smother the length.

It was always going to be hard to defend 60 but the Greens gave it a good crack – showing Georges River that they’re not going to have it all their own way. Warwick Preston led the charge with a hostile spell that yielded 3 wickets, while Joel Fortmann and a combined fielding effort ensure that the River had sufficient collateral damage when they passed the score 5 down.

With a promising weather forecast across the week, the Greens will hope that their next game won’t be so readily decided at the toss.

Petersham Oval

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