By Graham Croker

With 10 wickets in the past two rounds of the Sydney Grade cricket competition, veteran Sydney University all-rounder Greg Matthews needs just two more scalps to reach 500 first grade wickets.

The former Test and NSW representative sits on 498 career first grade wickets and could reach the 500 mark when Sydney University take on Penrith in a two-day fixture starting at University No.1 on Saturday. He already has 500 first class wickets to his credit, along with four Test centuries.

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Matthews, who has been playing first grade cricket since 1977, took 28 first grade wickets with his off-spinners for Central Cumberland, 114 for Western Suburbs, 238 for Eastern Suburbs, and 118 for Sydney University since joining the Students four seasons ago. It is no coincidence the Students have won two titles in that time.

Statistician Max Bonnell says Matthews will join some illustrious company when he reaches the 500 mark.

Bonnell says only three other players who have achieved 500 first class wickets and 500 first grade wickets. They are Monty Noble (1894-1925) FC 625 / FG 657; Arthur Mailey (1906-1935) FC 779 / FG 826; and Bill O’Reilly (1926-1949) FC 774 / FG 962.

Matthews is next with 516 first class wickets and 498 first grade wickets.