The Australian National University (ANU Owls) recently hosted Australian University Games champions, The University of Sydney, in the inaugural Intervarsity One-Day cricket fixture between the two universities. The University of Sydney came into the game as hot favourites following their national success on the Gold Coast late last year, however, it was the ANU Owls took the spoils with a 4 wicket victory.
A picturesque ANU North Oval was the setting for the 50 over-a-side match, with the condition of the ground and pitch surprising the visitors. Despite the mercury reaching 37 degrees, it did not deter either team, with bragging rights between the two Group of Eight universities on the line.
Both teams were scattered with ACT and NSW grade talent, with the ANU’s entire squad playing in Canberra’s premier division.
University of Sydney won the toss and elected to bat first. ANU’s opening bowlers Alrick Campbell and Guy Gillespie bowled well without luck, with the visitors reaching 0/40 after the first 9 overs. However, ANU managed to slow the run rate by breaking key partnerships in the middle period of the innings. Matt Edwards and Angus Polhill worked well together to restrict Sydney Universities run rate. Opposition opener, Jack Hill managed to craft a solid 60 runs before being brought undone by Guy Gillespie in his second spell. Fellow paceman, Jono Warren, followed this up with two wickets in twp balls, putting the visitors in a compromising position of 9/184. However, some big hitting late in the innings by Kieran Tate gave the visitors something to defend. All out for 227 with two balls to spare.
1st Innings Highlights: USYD 10/227 – Jack Hill (60), Kieran Tate (47), Jack Holloway (36); Matt Edwards (3/30), Jono Warren (2/31), Guy Gillespie (2/39)
In response to USYD’s total of 227, ANU got off to a flyer thanks to opening batsmen Sam Carters and Lakshman Shivakumar. The pair were 31 off the first 20 deliveries before the skipper, Shivakumar, went for one too many and was caught behind 21. This brought Rhys Healy to the crease who took no time at all getting his eye in. He and Carters put on a 45-run stand before the opener was caught on the boundary trying to bring up his half century. Nonetheless, Carters’ 44 off as many balls had put the home side in a great position after eighteen overs – 2/116. Chivers joined Healy and continued to knock the willow to all parts of North Oval. Neither looked like getting out before Healy came unstuck on 78 runs. With the score at 3/192, ANU were sitting comfortable, requiring 38 runs off 20 overs. However, a flurry of wickets saw a middle order collapse and a few nervous moments in the dressing sheds. Chivers managed to maintain his nerve and steer to home team to a four wicket victory with 14 overs to spare.
2nd Innings Highlights: ANU 6/228 – Rhys Healy (78), Owen Chivers (45), Sam Carters (44), S.Roby (2/1), Lewis McMahon (1/31), Ryan Kurtz (1/37)
A big thank you must go to University of Sydney and ANU Cricket Clubs for their assistance in organising such a successful event. The ANU Sport staff did a great job keeping the spectators well fed and hydrated at the BBQ and bar. We must also mention the umpires, for which the game would not have been possible without them. Thanks also to Jeremy Wilcox and the team at The RUC in Turner for their continued support of sport at the ANU, hosting the after match function. Finally, thanks to players from both universities for playing the game in a great spirit and putting on an exciting display of Intervarsity Cricket for the crowds.
We look forward to the return fixture next year.