A brilliant unbeaten century to Joshua Clarke has guided Hawkesbury safe passage into the last four of the McDonald’s First Grade Limited Overs Cup .
Clarke hit 117 not out from 131 balls as Hawkesbury cruised to a seven-wicket victory against Gordon at Chatswood Oval.
Gordon lost the toss and decided to batt first but only scored a modest 218 all out as Hawkesbury bowler Arjun Nair capped off a great weekend of cricket by collecting 4-19 off ten overs.
Opening the innings, Clarke hit 15 boundaries and one six in his three hour stay at the crease as the visitors recorded victory with 50 balls to spare.
The innings was Clarke’s fourth century of the season after posting just four centuries in his first 110 first grade games. It also took his run tally past 1,000 runs for the season in what is a remarkable achievement.
Clarke and Dale McKay’s second-wicket partnership of 112 set the tone for the chase by Hawkesbury. McKay made 53.
Sutherland also progressed to the semi-finals despite a century to Bankstown’s Phillip Wells at Bankstown Memorial Oval.
In a high scoring affair, the home side posted a commanding 6-284 with Wells’s 100 off 137 balls leading the way. His innings included seven fours and one six and he combined well with fellow top order batsmen Kerrod White (40) and Mitch Brown (38).
It was Wells’s 20th century and means he has now scored three or more centuries in three consecutive seasons, a feat last achieved by Sydney Universitiy’s Greg Mail in 2011-12.
Kyle Brockley, with 3-67 from 10 overs, was the pick of the bowlers for Sutherland.
Sutherland made a tentative start and at 4-100 looked in real trouble of being knocked out of the competition.
The middle order dug in however with Jamie Brown (75 from 66 balls with three fours and four sixes) and Peter Saroukos a quick-fire (48 from 31 balls with four sixes) as the visitors got themselves back into the contest.
The stage was then set for talented all-rounder Daniel Fallins to run riot with the bat and get his side home.
He hit 62 not out from 33 balls with three fours and four sixes. Sutherland won by two wickets with just one ball to spare in a thrilling win.
Penrith eased its way to a 29-run victory against Sydney University in a low scoring affair.
NSW Blues squad member Josh Lalor was the standout with the ball taking 3-30, helping Penrith to the final four.
Earlier in the day, Penrith had got to 165 all out after some even efforts with the bat in the top order. Jonathon Sammut (30) and NSW Blues squad member Ryan Gibson (27) were the standouts.
In the other fixture, Randwick Petersham ensured it would be in the Semi-Finals courtesy of a three-wicket win that was inspired by an Anthony Sams half century.
The wicket keeper scored 70 off 87 balls with six boundaries as the visitors successfully chased down the target of 230 in the final over. Sams was well supported by Nathan Price (41) and James Psarakis (35 not out).
Earlier on Daniel Sams collected 3-48 as Northern Districts was dismissed for 229 despite Henry Hunt’s 73.