Stuart Clark could be looking for a promotion in the batting order after cracking his maiden century in Sydney University’s 8(dec)-340 against Parramatta at Old Kings Oval on Saturday.

With the Students struggling at 7-157 the former Test seamer hit five sixes and eight boundaries in his 95-ball 101 not out to help Sydney University to a total meaty enough for a declaration five overs shy of stumps on day one.

He shared a 126-run eighth-wicket stand with Will Somerville (78) and a 57-run ninth-wicket stand with Tim Ley (12 not out) as the trio posted a 183-run rearguard fightback.

But Clark, who was dropped on 99, might have to wait for the promotion, as Somerville, the man in front of him, also posted his highest score for the club. The off-spinner joined Sydney University from Easts this season.

“I just went out there and bombed a few and ended up with 101,” said the modest Clark, who was batting for just the second time in six months because of his general manager role with the Sydney Sixes in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.

“I think my previous best was 70-odd in the grade comp, and that was about 15 years ago. It was a flat wicket and a hot day. It was just one of those days everything went my way.”

And, as a reminder that he has 94 Test wickets and close to 400 first-class wickets in his kitbag, he added: “I’d prefer a five-for any day.”

The Somerville-Clark revival was the second of the day for the Students, who were 6-98 before Ben Larkin played a cameo 66 batting at No.6.Parramatta were 0-5 at stumps with the Students’ solid bowling attack – Michael Culkoff, Ley, Clark and Somerville backed up by Greg Mail and Ian Moran – looking for early wickets next Saturday.

Sydney University Cricket Club coaching director Gary Whitaker said the defending premiers are starting to hit their straps after an indifferent start to the season followed by big win – and a clean sweep through the grades – in Round 3.

“It’s one of those things with this side, they’re never out of the match,” he said. “After being 6-98, posting a decent total was the main objective and they set about doing that. Getting to 340 was a bonus.”

The coach was also pleased with the efforts of First Grade in the Twenty20 win over North Sydney at North Sydney Oval on Sunday.

After Mark Faraday’s 87 off 59 balls helped Sydney University to 5-173, the Students restricted the strong Norths batting line-up to 7-157 on a good batting wicket.

“That was a really good effort, and included a couple of well executed run-outs,” the coach said. “Liam Robertson, our Poidevin-Gray captain, bowled very well to take 1-18 off his four overs. He asks questions of the batsmen.”

While Clark was making merry at Old Kings Oval, Fifth Grader Steve Hobson was making hay at Mona Park 3 where he cracked a career-best 240 against Parramatta.

And that was in a total of 377 off just 71 overs. Parramatta survived to be 0-14 at stumps, having ended day one wondering what had hit them.

Club historians are checking where Hobson’s knock fits into the Sydney University annuls. Keep posted.

The Students are in strong positions in all grades to push for another clean-sweep round and another rung up the Club Championship ladder.


Sydney Men’s Grade competition – Round 4 (Two-day fixtures)

First Grade: Sydney University 8(dec)-340 off 89 overs (Stuart Clark 101 not out, Will Somerville 78, Ben Larkin 66, Greg Mail 28; Anthony Marr 3-105, Aaron Govorko 2-52, Daniel Jackson 2-54) v Parramatta 0-9 off 5 overs, stumps, day one at Old King’s Oval. Toss: Sydney University. Batted first: Sydney University.

Second Grade: Parramatta 145 off 65.1 overs (Adam Turrell 32, Luke Dempsey 23; Ben Joy 4-25, David Miller 2-10) v Sydney University 3-71 off 47 overs (Will Hay 26; Luke Dempsey 2-16), stumps, day one at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Parramatta. Batted first: Parramatta.

Third Grade: Parramatta 131 off 50.1 overs (Neshen Munusamy 40, Ben Monaghan 34) v Sydney University 3-88) stumps, day on at Merrylands Oval. Toss: Parramatta. Batted first: Parramatta. Fourth Grade: Sydney University 3-203 off 47 overs (Suda Sivapalan 101 not out, James Larkin 39, Henry Clark 38; Christopher Bateup 2-40) v Parramatta 77 off 32.5 overs (Mitchell Birtles 23; Brendan Pryke 6-17, Ash Cowan 2-17) stumps, day one at Sydney University No.2 Oval. Toss: Parramatta. Batted first: Parramatta.

Fifth Grade: Sydney University 377 off 71 overs (Steve Hobson 240, Alexander Logan 57; Fida Chowdhury 3-38, Carl Madsen 2-35) v Parramatta 0-14 off 9 overs, stumps, day one at Mona Park 3. Toss: Parramatta. Batted first: Sydney University.

Sydney Men’s Twenty20 competition – Round 2

Sydney University 5-173 off 20 overs (Mark Faraday 87) d North Sydney 7-157 off 20 overs (Daniel Hughes 44) at North Sydney Oval. Toss: North Sydney. Batted first: Sydney University. Points: Sydney University 4, North Sydney 0.

Poidevin-Gray Twenty-20 competition – Round 2

North Sydney 2-117 off 11.3 overs (Alex Barrow 56, Michael Birch 30, Jake Lintott 22 not out; Liam Robertson 1-14) d Sydney University 8-114 off 20 overs (Jack Hill 27 not out, Robert Edwards 27, Liam Robertson 20; Jake Lintott 2-26) by eight wickets at North Sydney Oval. Toss: North Sydney. Batted first: Sydney University. Points: North Sydney 4, Sydney University 0.

Sydney Women’s Grade competition – Round 6 (Twenty20)

First Grade: Universities 4-136 off 18.3 overs (Rachel Haynes 60, Alex Blackwell 35; Angela Reakes 2-18) d Sydney 135 (Nicole Goodwin 30, Ellyse Perry 21; Alison Parkin 2-14, Helen Laughton 2-24) by six wickets at Sydney University No.1 Oval. Toss: Sydney. Batted first: Sydney. Points: Universities 6, Sydney 0.

Brewer Shield: Universities 140 (Katherine Wong 55 not out, Elizabeth Durack 19; Angel Lea 3-11, Rebecca Minella 2-8) d Sydney 57 (Angel Lea 27; Elizabeth Durack 3-15, Georgia Ohlin 2-8) at Sydney University No.2 Oval.