Finals Cricket Report –Sat & Sun 18-19 March 2023
1st Grade QF v Sydney Uni
3rd Grade QF v Penrith
Metro SF v St George
3rd Grade Qualifying Final: Randwick Petersham 156 def by Penrith 6/157
Metro Semi-Final: Randwick Petersham 159 def St George 91
Gold arrived ready and raring to go at the picturesque Petersham Oval to face St George whom we defeated at Snape earlier in the season. With warm ups completed the skipper Jeremy Jastrzab won the toss and elected to bat with the intention to post runs on the board in the final.
But on a good batting strip Gold were in early trouble as Rishahb Goyal chased a wide one early to leave the team 1-0 off the first over. With poor shot selections from the top order we limped our way through the first session to be teetering at 5-60 with Ryan Rajesh (25), falling to a sharp caught behind, showing real resistance. While at the other end Archie Robinson (34) played a composed and mature innings to begin denting the Saint’s bowlers confidence. As the tail began to resist, and then wag furiously, the magical 100 mark was passed. Sriram Suresh (28) carried on where Robinson let off taking the long handle in a counter attack while Jastrzab and Zac Narayan increased the pressure with sharp running and good shot selection. When Jastrzab fell the Golds had runs on the board with 159.
Tensions simmered through a tense afternoon, as the 14 remaining overs saw a wicket fall, plenty of chances created and only 27 runs knocked off the target.
Waking up the next morning, the team was greeted with an uncannily thick fog on their way to the ground, which managed to burn off just as teams were coming on the field. But tensions remained thick, as only 4 runs were scrambled in the first 4 overs, as openers Ben Thomas and Zack Narayan challenged the batters consistently. Then on the second ball of the 5th morning over, the St George number three thought he left a ball outside off… which if only by divine providence, violently jagged back off the seam to take the off stump, and lead to an almost surreal passage of play. In the next over, Zack (2/33) finally got an inswinger to veer past the opener’s inside edge for a plumb LBW, before the dragon’s wings were really clipped in Ben’s next over, with enigmatic slinger clean-bowling the next two batters to complete a spell of 4/0 in 3 overs. At 5/31, all of a sudden, the target of 160 seemed that much further away.
With their best batsman at the crease, the dragons still maintained some semblance of hope… but at 5/50 St George were well and truly grounded just as penguins learned to fly – with E-Young ‘Pingu’ Khoo soaring through the sky at gully to pluck what was without a doubt, the catch of the season. Not content with just contributing in the field, Pingu (2/6) spun a web of mystery and the dragons were on the mat at 8/54. The lower order swung, ran themselves out and upon returning after lunch, Ben Thomas (4/15) completed his best figures for the club with a caught to complete the 1st innings at 91. Without enough time to force a second innings result and the heat scorching the middle of the day, and Gold were granted passage into their first Grand Final appearance since 2015/16.
This report is proudly brought to you by O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd. was established in 1918. It is the largest manufacturer of sportswear in Ireland and has manufacturing plants in Dublin and Strabane. They have developed a long-standing relationship with Irish Rugby, Football and the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA).
Additionally, O’Neills are the kit supplier to Cricket Ireland and were showcased at Coogee Oval in February 2015 and during the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia.
O’Neills Sportswear – the Choice of Champions and now Randwick Petersham Cricket.