As the final six was decided NSW Metropolitan Under 17 representative Yuvraj Sharma became the seventh 16-year-old to score a First Grade century during the last preliminary round of the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition on Saturday.
Sutherland leapt four spots in the final round to finish in the all-important sixth place on the ladder, and final qualifying spot for the finals starting next weekend, courtesy of a win over Gordon.
The men from the Shire now play Sydney University next weekend in the first of the three qualifying finals starting on Saturday.
The other four teams to qualify for the first week of the three-week finals series were second-placed Penrith, who take on defending champions Parramatta next weekend, UTS North Sydney and Sydney.
The third-placed Bears host Sydney, who finished fourth, in the third qualifying final. All top six teams won their final round matches on Saturday.
In one of the many rain-affected matches during round 15, opening batsman Sharma made 107 from 137 deliveries for Fairfield-Liverpool in its limited-overs victory against Hawkesbury under the Duckworth Lewis Method.
First Grade veteran Philip Wells joined the eminent 10,000-run club at Drummoyne Oval and became the 26th player to reach the mark. His 62 for Campbelltown-Camden in its loss to Sydney under DLS took him to 10,025 First Grade runs at an average of 42.12.
At Coogee Oval, in his return from injury, international super star and Randwick Petersham opening batsman David Warner made his third century of the season.
Manly-Warringah paceman Michael Visser claimed the best figures of the weekend and best of his career in a seven-wicket rout of Blacktown at Manly Oval.
Visser claimed 7-28 as the visitors were bowled out for 89 in 19.4 overs. In reply, Manly finished 3/90 from 11.2. It was the fourth five-wicket haul in First Grade for Visser.
Sydney University finished the competition as minor premiers after it comfortably defeated Western Suburbs at University Oval on the Duckworth Lewis Method. The students made 5/135 from 33.4 overs in response to 161.
Eight of the 10 matches in round 15 were determined under Duckworth Lewis Stern.
At just 16 years and 311 days, Sharma joined several great names of Australian and New South Wales cricket to make their maiden First Grade century at the age.
The youngest was the great Archie Jackson, who played for both Australia and New South Wales during the late 1920s and early 1930s. He made his maiden century in First Grade at just 16 years and 133 days in 1925/26.
Others to achieve the feat are former great Australian Test opener Arthur Morris, Australia’s youngest ever Test captain Ian Craig, NSW batsmen Ron Kissell, Ron Moss, and current Sydney Sixers player, and Tasmanian opener, Jordan Silk.
Silk made his maiden century for Penrith at 16 years and 328 days in 2008/09.
After it was sent in to bat at Owen Earle Oval, Fairfield-Liverpool made 8/245 from its 50 overs, and in reply, Hawkesbury was 4/127 after 27.3.
Former Australian One-Day International and Blues batsman, Hawkesbury captain Peter Forrest top-scored for the hosts with 63.
Sutherland Captain Chris Williams (107) scored the third century of his First Grade career to help his team to victory under DLS. Gordon finished 8/179 from 38 overs in response to the men from the Shire who posted 237.
Blues seamer Charlie Stobo claimed another three wickets for Gordon. He returned 3-35 from 9.4 overs in the beaten side.
Despite the wet weather, Sharma and Williams were among eight centurions on Saturday, including two from opposing sides at Coogee Oval.
Warner and NSW Blues rookie Ryan Hackney, 19, for Penrith both passed 100 in a win for the visitors.
Hackney made 127 from 144 balls at the top of the order in a significant total of 5/313 for Penrith batting first. It was his second century of the season and third of his First Grade career.
The left-hander shared a 150-run partnership for the third-wicket with No. 4 Cameron Weir (89 from 72).
In reply, Warner did what he does best. The opener hit 110 from 77 balls, including seven sixes, and gave Randwick Petersham every chance.
However, the loss of consistent wickets cost the hosts. From 1/183 they fell to 8/219 from 29 overs. Captain and seamer Ryan Smith (3-37) claimed best figures for the Panthers.
Another two centuries were posted at Hurstville Oval. Firstly, St George captain Nick Stapleton hit 170 not out from 166 balls, including 23 fours and two sixes, followed by a magnificent 156 from 132 by the opposing skipper Scott Rodgie also at the top of the order.
Mosman fell just short of victory under the Duckworth Lewis Stern method. It made 8/283 from 44 overs in response to 4/313.
Stapleton shared two century stands with Luke Bartier (50) and Australian Test batsman Kurtis Patterson (38).
The opener added 120 for the first wicket with Bartier followed by exactly 100 with Patterson. It was the highest score posted by Stapleton in First Grade.
Stapleton finished the season 14 short of 1,000 runs for the season.
Rodgie and fellow Mosman opener, Blues batsman Daniel Hughes (48 from 39), added a quick fire 81 from 77 balls, but a steady flow of wickets cost the Whales.
The century for Rodgie was his 15th in the top grade and took him past 8,000 career runs to 8,015 at 34.25.
The defending champions, Parramatta, secured fifth place with victory over UNSW.
Opener Tim Ward (129) made the third century of his career, all scored within his last four innings.
He played a lead role in the huge Parramatta total of 5/350 from its 50 overs. Ward shared an opening stand of 176 with the big-hitting Ben Abbott (82 from 71) followed by a 93-run partnership with captain Nick Bertus (54).
Bertus passed 1,000 runs for the second consecutive season during his half-century. The Blues batsman has made 1,052 runs this season at 75.14.
In reply, the Bumblebees made 9/252 from 35 overs at Village Green, but lost too many wickets to be competitive with their visitors under the Duckworth Lewis Stern method. Parramatta allrounder Luke Dempsey claimed 5-48 from seven overs.
Opening batsman for ACT/NSW Country in the Toyota Futures League, Matt Gilkes, top-scored for UNSW with a swift 71 from 59 balls.
Like Sharma, 18-year-old opening batsman Liam Scott also scored his maiden First Grade century.
Scott, who represented NSW Metro at this season’s Under 19 National Championships held in December, scored 104 from 92 balls against Campbelltown-Camden.
The Ghosts were restricted to 8/201 from their 50 overs, and in reply, Sydney made 2/185 from 26.2.
UTS North Sydney locked down third place with a win over Bankstown at home.
The Bears and Bulldogs was the other match that did not require Duckworth Lewis Stern. North Sydney chased down 157 for victory with four wickets in hand and seven overs to spare.
Seamer James Campbell and wicketkeeper James Crosthwaite were again impressive for North Sydney.
Campbell claimed 4-27 from eight overs and Crosthwaite snared four catches behind the stumps.
In the other match completed during round 15, Northern District overcame Eastern Suburbs at Waverley Oval. Northern District made 2/115 from 21 overs in reply to 176 posted by the Dolphins which was enough for the visitors to prevail on the Duckworth Lewis Stern method.
Northern District opening bowler Chad Soper claimed 4-27 from 8.1 overs.
McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket:
First Grade - Round 15:
Northern District 2-115 (B Davis 53no N Badings 27) bt Eastern Suburbs 176 (J Preddey 55 H Dalton 50 C Soper 4-27 B Davis 2-14) on DLS method at Waverley Oval,
Sutherland 237 (C Williams 107 P Saroukos 43 T Doyle 29 A Waugh 20 C Stobo 3-35 M Junk 2-35 G Winsor 2-50) bt Gordon 8-179 (S Colley 59 A Cahlin 38 H Evans 33 J Brown 3-39 T Pinson 2-43) on DLS method at Chatswood Oval,
Fairfield-Liverpool 8-245 (Y Sharma 107 J Cashman 57 L Ohrynowsky 29 C Lawrence 3-62 A Van Den Nieuwboer 2-55) bt Hawkesbury 4-127 (P Forrest 63 D Mckay 32 S Baldwin 21no L Hatcher 2-29) on DLS method at Owen Earle Oval,
Manly-Warringah 3-90 (J Edwards 34 J Lenton 31no S Irshad 2-24) bt Blacktown 89 (M Day 27 D Nicotra 25 M Visser 7-28 J Edwards 2-3) with 1 bonus point at Manly Oval,
UTS North Sydney 6-157 (A Crosthwaite 45 R Aitken 39 B Bryant 34 O Knight 29no T Garg 2-18 B Taylor 2-39) bt Bankstown 156 (M Brown 72 B Taylor 20 J Campbell 4-27 R Aitken 3-24 W Graham 2-30) at North Sydney Oval,
Penrith 5-313 (R Hackney 127 C Weir 89 B Williams 52no R Gibson 26) bt Randwick Petersham 8-219 (D Warner 110 S Eaton 39 J Sangha 33 R Smith 3-37 H Railz 2-53) on DLS method at Coogee Oval,
St George 4-313 (N Stapleton 170no L Bartier 50 K Patterson 38 B Macdonald 35 J Turner 2-54) bt Mosman 8-283 (S Rodgie 156 D Hughes 48 N Hinton 21 B Macdonald 2-15 P Francis 2-41 N Stapleton 2-54) on DLS method at Hurstville Oval,
Sydney 2-185 (L Scott 104 M Rodgers 38no R Felsch 36) bt Campbelltown-Camden 8-201 (P Wells 62 J Cormack 22 T Sangha 21no B Manenti 2-21 B Mitchell 2-43 A Glendenning 2-51) on DLS method at Drummoyne Oval,
Sydney University 5-135 (R McElduff 65no T Cummins 20 D Van Der Merwe 3-24) bt Western Suburbs 161 (I Taylor 57 J Psarakis 46 R McElduff 3-33 D Malone 2-22 J Kershaw 2-29 T Ley 2-32) on DLS method at University Oval,
Parramatta 5-350 (T Ward 129 B Abbott 82 N Bertus 54 T Crittenden 37no L Dempsey 27 J Bennett 2-85) bt UNSW 9-252 (M Gilkes 71 T Islam 55 B McLean 32 D Dawson 23 L Dempsey 5-48) on DLS method at Village Green.
Sydney University 73 Penrith 69 UTS North Sydney 67 Sydney 62 Parramatta 50 Sutherland 46 St George 44 Bankstown 44 Eastern Suburbs 44 Gordon 43 Mosman 41 Fairfield-Liverpool 40 Northern District 39 Manly-Warringah 38 UNSW 35 Western Suburbs 34 Hawkesbury 33 Randwick Petersham 32 Blacktown 27 Campbelltown-Camden 26.
Qualifying Finals (16-17 March):
Sydney University v Sutherland at University Oval; Penrith v Parramatta at Howell Oval; UTS North Sydney v Sydney at North Sydney Oval.