In two words. Simply amazing! And while they apply to the big win by Randwick Petersham over University of NSW in the Twenty 20 Cup Preliminary Final at Coogee today, they more appropriately refer to Adam Semple. I have regularly claimed him to be Randwick Petersham’s “Iron Warrior”. And for good reason. He never gives up. He is never beaten. And today he proved that once again in his 16th season and just a few months out from his 40th birthday. On the last ball of Chris Tremain’s final over, the 19th, he took a single to win the game for his team. It also gave him 100 not out off just 54 balls with 5 fours and a massive 8 sixes! It was his first century in T20 cricket, his 6th in 1st Grade and his first since 2014-15. He has hit 24 sixes so far this season and 164 in his career with the club.
It was a spectacular innings in more ways than one. He came to the crease when our “big guns”, Jason Sangha, Daniel Sams and Anthony Sams were all back in the pavilion with just 11 runs on the board off 11 balls. He and Riley Ayre calmed the situation and played regular cricket shots as they built their innings. That said, Adam hit his first six when he was 5 and his second at 15, to get the score to 3-42 off 6 overs. Riley eventually went in the 13th over for 29 off 33 when the score was 4-87. Semple was joined by Ben Mitchell and the pair took the attack to the bowlers. Adam hit 3 sixes across the 14th and 15th overs while Mitchell took 19 off the 17th, including a straight drive over the fence. When the win came after taking 20 off the 10th over, the pair had scored 81 off 36 balls to meet the target of 168.

Semple 100*

Earlier, Uni. won the toss and batted in perfect conditions on a dry Coogee strip. Randwick Petersham started in brilliant fashion with Sydney Thunder star, Matt Gilkes, stumped off the first ball of the second over by Anthony Sams from spin bowler, Riley Ayre. But the students batted superbly after that, with Thomas Scoble (82* off 58 with 4 fours and 5 sixes) and Jack Attenborough (60 off 38 with 7 fours and a six) putting on 131 for the second wicket. Jason Ralston eventually got through Attenborough’s defence at 2-134 with 6 overs remaining. But the experience of the Randwick Petersham bowlers kicked in and they kept the scoring to just 33 runs with 3 wickets off the final 36 balls for a tally of 5-167. An excellent total, but not enough to prevent Randwick Petersham notching up its 50th win in T20 cricket and cementing a spot in the 2021-22 Kingsgrove Sports T20 Cup Grand Final against Sydney University (who chased down Parramatta’s 191 with one ball to spare) on Sunday 6 February at a venue to be advised.
You gotta love the cricket being played this season!
Happy Australia Day!!
Lyall Gardner OAM