Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Cummins has made an important half-century for Sydney University that kept the minor premiers competitive with Penrith on the first day of three in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket Grand Final at Bankstown Oval.
After Sydney University earlier won the toss and elected to bat, it finished Friday at 9/201. Cummins came to the crease with Sydney University at 5/79, and at stumps, remained unbeaten on 73 from 165 deliveries against his old club.
The students lost 3/0 within three overs early in the second session prompting Cummins to the centre. The left-arm orthodox spin duo of Trent Weir (2-26) and Luke Hodges (2-43) claimed all three scalps in that sequence.
Weir claimed two with Hodges picking up talented allrounder Hayden Kerr (10). Penrith claimed four wickets in the final session including two to left-arm seamer Ryan Fletcher (2-34) and another couple to NSW Blues batsman Ryan Gibson with his medium pace.
Bowling off the wrong foot, Gibson chipped in with the very tidy figures of 2-10 from eight overs, and at one stage, he had 2-2 from four.
Leg-spinner Devlin Malone (7 not out) was the other unbeaten batsman for Sydney University at stumps.
It was the fourth half-century of the season for Cummins and he has reached the boundary just five times during his unbeaten knock.
A patient approach progressed Sydney University to 2/61 at lunch on what appeared to be a hard pitch.
Opening batsman Ryan McElduff was the mainstay for Sydney University. He remained unbeaten on 32 at lunch but was dismissed not long after the interval for 41 from 129 balls.
His wicket triggered the collapse that saw the students tumble from 2/79 and lose its next three wickets without adding to that score.
The Weir brothers combined to dismiss McElduff with Cameron taking the catch. The trio of wickets included captain Liam Robertson for a sixth ball duck.
Cummins employed a positive approach to counter the Penrith momentum and reached 40 not out from 63 balls at tea.
He shared a 60-run stand with Nick Walker (17) who occupied the crease for 96 balls. It was one of two partnerships that exceeded 50 for Sydney University.
The other was shared between McElduff and Damien Mortimer (19) worth 51 for the second wicket.
Gibson was the bowler to break the Cummins and Walker partnership. He trapped Walker on the pads, and soon had two, when fast bowler Joe Kershaw edged a delivery through to wicketkeeper Tyran Liddiard without scoring.
The Penrith gloveman claimed three catches on day one.
Cummins shared a handy 40-run stand with No. 9 Dugald Holloway (16) but the students were to lose another two wickets before stumps.
Penrith captain and seamer Ryan Smith (1-44) claimed the first wicket of the day to take his season tally to 58.
In the Second Grade Grand Final at University Oval, Parramatta batsman Will Affleck amassed his first century of the season. In partnership with Taj Brar (82), shared a huge 210-run opening stand to lay the platform for a day one total of 2/237 against minor premiers Sydney University.
Affleck scored 128 from 241 balls including 13 boundaries and four sixes. Like the First Grade decider, the Second Grade Grand Final is played over three days.
McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket
Grand Finals - Day 1.
Sydney University 9-201 (T Cummins 73no R McElduff 41 R Gibson 2-10 T Weir 2-26 R Fletcher 2-34 L Hodges 2-43) v Penrith at Bankstown Oval.
Parramatta 2-237 (W Affleck 128 T Brar 82) v Sydney University at University Oval.