An imposing century from Mitch Brown has ensured reigning Premiers Bankstown a place in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket Final against Minor Premiers Sydney University.
The three-day final, beginning on Friday, has been scheduled for Bankstown.
Third-placed Bankstown upset second team Gordon at Chatswood Oval in one semi-final over the weekend while University batted Parramatta out of the other decider at University.
Gordon knew a draw would be enough to see it through to the final. However those plans were thrown into disarray by Brown’s dominance.
His masterful 161 from 299 deliveries guided the visitors to 9-317 declared after they lost the toss and were sent in.
Brown hit 17 fours and one six in his innings which lasted 335 minutes. He has been an integral member of the Bankstown side this season, hitting three centuries in totalling more than 900 runs across all formats.
James Kennedy was a standout with the ball for Gordon collecting impressive figures of 6-93 from 18 overs.
Knowing it needed victory to keep its season alive, Bankstown declared early on Sunday and went about the task of dismissing Gordon in less than a day.
In a fantastic bowling effort, Gordon fell for just 155 in 65.3 overs to secure Bankstown a final spot for a third consecutive season.
Trying to bat out the day, Gordon struggled to deal with superb spells by Jarrad Burke (3-27 from 19 overs) and Tom Sowden (4-45 from 14.3 overs).
It was a disappointing end to what had been a successful season for Gordon where it finished second on the ladder and recorded 11 victories.
At University the Students needed only a draw to advance, with a solid batting effort leaving Parramatta with minimal time to chase down the 296 required for victory.
A water-logged outfield reduced play to just 23 overs on Saturday with the students going to stumps at 0-61.
Sydney University relied heavily on Liam Robertson (86) in its total of 295 but he was also supported by veteran Greg Mail (47) and NSW Blues squad members Ryan Carters (46) and Nick Larkin (42).
University had been in a little early trouble, slipping to 4-73 at one stage, with NSW batsmen Larkin and Ed Cowan both dismissed.
However Robertson played a vital innings to push the students close to 300. His half-century was just his second of the season but came at the most opportune time.
After dismissing University, it had only limited time to chase down the required total and quickly reverted into T20 mode with no less than 14 sixes being hit by the visitors on the reduced playing field.
Parramatta was dismissed in 21 overs more than 100 in arrears.
Sydney Universities Ben Joy ran through the lower order, collecting 5-9 in just four overs.
It was Joy’s second five-wicket haul of the season.
The Final will be held from Friday 31st March to Sunday 2nd April at Bankstown Oval between Sydney University and Bankstown.
Action in all Finals will commence at 10.30am (9.30am Sunday) with First Grade and Second Grade played over three days, Friday to Sunday. All other grades will be played over Saturday & Sunday.
First Grade: Sydney University v Bankstown at Bankstown Oval.
Second Grade: Northern District v Sydney at Mark Taylor Oval.
Third Grade: Northern District v Mosman at Allan Border Oval.
Fourth Grade: Sydney v Gordon at Drummoyne Oval.
Fifth Grade: St George v Randwick Petersham at Hurstville Oval.
Photo credit: David Clifton