Blues allrounder Param Uppal has led Fairfield-Liverpool to victory in the Under 21 Poidevin-Gray Shield Final with both bat and ball on Sunday.
As captain, Uppal made 85 from 116 balls at No. 3 in the first innings of the 36-run win over UTS North Sydney under the Duckworth Lewis Stern Method. It was followed by 2-37 with his off-spin, and two catches, earning him the Shane Lee Medal as Player of the Final.
North Sydney opening batsman Jack James made a valiant 87 from 132 balls in pursuit of 256 to win from 46 overs under the DLS method due to rain in the first innings.
Norths were dismissed for 219 in reply to 4/233 from 46.5 overs posted by Fairfield-Liverpool. Rain ended the first innings short of the 50 overs and interrupted play several times.
It was the first time since 1997/98 that the Lions had claimed the Under 21 title.
Uppal shared a pivotal 139-run second wicket partnership with opener Yuvraj Sharma (72) that ultimately proved the difference.
Sharma also claimed 2-50 with spin. Blues rookie left-arm quick Chad Sammut returned best figures for Fairfield-Liverpool of 3-41 from 10 overs.
It was a season of firsts in the Poidevin-Gray Shield with the competition divided into two conferences and T20 matches introduced for the first time.
Each team played four 50-over matches and four T20 fixtures.
Fairfield-Liverpool qualified for the Finals in third place on the Thunder Conference table, and likewise, Norths finished third in the Sixers Conference.
Gordon and Bankstown qualified first in the Sixers and Thunder Conferences respectively.
The Lions defeated Penrith in their preliminary final at Rosedale Oval last Sunday to qualify for the Grand Final. The Panthers, who finished fourth on the Thunder Conference ladder, lost by six wickets.
UTS North Sydney upset Gordon by eight wickets at Chatswood Oval last Sunday.
The leading run-scorer for the competition was UNSW opening batsman Jack Attenborough with 391 runs at an average of 65.17, including a highest score of 160 not out. Bankstown’s Dayne Heward was leading wicket taker with 16 wickets.
Poidevin-Gray Shield: Grand Final.
Fairfield-Liverpool 4-233 (P Uppal 85 Y Sharma 72 A Patil 45no) bt UTS North Sydney 219 (J James 87 N Whyte 30 J Hardy 25 F May 25 C Sammut 3-41 P Uppal 2-37 Y Sharma 2-50) on Duckworth-Lewis method. Revised target 256 (46 overs). Shane Lee Medal for Player of the Match: Param Uppal (Fairfield-Liverpool) at North Sydney Oval.