Students into Belvidere Cup final

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Sydney University will meet Parramatta in the NSW Premier Cricket 2022-23 season final after both teams scored convincing wins in their respective semi-finals on the weekend.

The three-day final at Cricket Central Oval, Olympic Park, is scheduled to start at 10am on Friday.

After finishing on top of the Belvidere Cup ladder with a dramatic last over win over Manly Warringah in the final round of the season proper, Sydney University then lost to sixth-placed Randwick Petersham in their qualifying final at University Oval. But the minor premiers returned to form with a big win over second-placed Manly Warringah in their semi-final at Manly Oval at the weekend to earn a berth in the season decider.

The win was set up by quicks Hayden Kerr and Caelan Maladay, who collected eight wickets between them after the hosts won the toss, elected to bat, and were all out 34.2 overs later with 78 on the board. Kerr finished with 5-30 off 13 overs, while Maladay collected 3-31 off his 12 overs.

Sydney University then rattled up 4-255 to seal the result, with No.5 Damien Mortimer finishing unbeaten on 76 and Ryan McElduff on 34 not out. Openers Jordan Gauci (33) and Nick Larkin (19), and No.3 Don Butchart (23) gave the Students a solid start before all-rounder Kerr chipped in with a well-compiled 51.

Parramatta, who finished third on the ladder, accounted for fourth-placed St George with a first-innings result in their two-day in qualifying final at Old Kings Oval. They then beat Randwick by 161 runs at the same venue at the weekend to secure a berth in the final.

Parramatta and Sydney University met once through the season in a rain-affected Round 9 limited overs fixture at University Oval, where the hosts won on a DLS (Duckworth-Lewis-Stern) system result on a revised target.

Parramatta had batted first and rattled up 8-174 off 33 overs before the Students replied with 7-159 off 28.2 overs in the DLS target.

Bring on the final.