Students fire for Blues in Tasmania

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A trio of Sydney University Cricket Club (SUCC) representatives have combined to rip the heart out of Tasmania and lead the NSW Blues to an outright victory in their four day Bupa Sheffield Shield match at Blundstone Arena, Tasmania.  

Chasing 254 runs in the final innings to secure an outright win on Monday, NSW began the fourth and final day at 0-41, with Sydney University’s Ryan Carters not out on 26. Carters and his opening partner Nic Maddinson added another 40 runs before he was caught by SUCC product Ed Cowan.

Enter Sydney University opener Scott Henry. Henry and Carters put on 138 runs for the second wicket, taking the score to 1-221 before Carters (100) fell to the bowling of Sam Rainbird.

Carters’ second First Class century was brilliant. The SUSF Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder (studying a Bachelor of Arts) hammered 11 boundaries during his 196 ball stay at the crease. Carters is in tremendous form, and his century against Tasmania followed his scores of 94 and 40 against the touring English team at the SCG, and 154 and 67 in his last Shield match against Queensland.

His appearance for the Cricket Australia XI has been heralded for his recent run of form. “When you play against international opposition you really feel like, ‘Wow, this is a great chance to play against the best in the world and see where my skills are at and have a crack’,” Carters told The Australian Newspaper. “I learnt a lot, I probably gained some confidence out of scoring runs in that match.”

The loss of Carters failed to slow down his club and state team mate Henry, who secured victory for the Blues with his fifth First Class half century. The stylish left-hander ended up on 76 not out as NSW cruised to a six wicket victory over the Tigers to cement their first place position on the Bupa Sheffield Shield ladder.

A day earlier, on Sunday, it was another Sydney University representative who swung the match in favour of the Blues with a scintillating spell with the ball.

After being bowled out for 264 before lunch on Sunday in reply to the Tigers total of 354, the Blues were desperate for a flurry of wickets and Sydney University all-rounder Sean Abbott obliged.

Abbott’s career best figures of 4-36 helped the Blues destroy Tasmania’s batting order and bowl them out for a paltry second innings total of just 164.  

In other news, Sydney University suffered their first defeat of the season in the Sydney Grade Cricket Fist Grade competition. Chasing Fairfield-Liverpool’s 174 for victory, the Students began the day at 6-88 at Sydney University No. 1 Oval but fell agonisingly short of victory – going down by just two runs.

University fought their way to within six runs (Greg Mail 50 and Jonte Pattison 38) of victory, before losing their last two wickets for four runs to the cunning spin of 37 year old Tony Clark.

The drama didn’t end there though, as Sydney Uni picked themselves up to bowl out their opponents for 141 (Tim Ley 5-38 and Pattison 3-24) and set up an unlikely outright victory chase of 144 from 12 overs.

Opener Nick Larkin – who earlier this year became the first batsman to score a double century in an Irish inter-pro game – threw everything at the Fairfield-Liverpool bowlers, scoring 94 before he was dismissed by Clark in the 12th and final over. Larkins innings included 10 massive sixes and showcased some of the most powerful and clean striking you will ever see.

Sydney University finished at 3-126 – just 18 runs shy of victory – when stumps were drawn.

Larkin also top scored (38 off 26 balls) in a T20 big bash trial (Sydney Pink v Sydney Green) last Thursday under lights.

In the other grades, the Students secured a first innings victory against Fairfield-Liverpool in third grade, but lost on first innings to the same opponents in second, fourth and fifth grades.

Despite the indifferent weekend of results, SUCC still lead the Club Championship by 10 points. They are followed by Randwick-Petersham and Sydney.