Evenly matched after finishing the regular season in the top two, University and Kensington faced-off in a two-day game to decide the title, and it was a contest dominated by the bowlers.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, Kensington struggled early, losing their first wicket with just one run on the board, as University’s opening attack of Nick Winter and Liam Greber went to work. Henry Hunt and Johnathan Dalton then put on 50 with the bat, but when Ben Ellis broke that partnership, things began to unravel for Kensington.
Nine wickets fell for just 115 runs as Greber and Ellis combined to run through the Kensington batting card. Greber finished with figures of 5/34 in a stunning performance that was brilliantly supported by Ellis’ 3/44. Darcy McRostie did what he could to stop the rot in the middle order, compiling a handy 39*, but with just five batsman reaching double figures, it was always going to be an uphill battle for the remainder of the clash.
University’s first innings then began in the same fashion, losing Cooper Luke before a run had been scored, but Will Bosisto and Ben Wakim then come together in what would be the defining partnership of the match. The two put on 74 for the third wicket, a modest collection in usual circumstances, but absolute gold in a low-scoring Grand Final.
From 2/37, Bosisto and Wakim got University to within 58 of their first innings chase, which would prove to be close enough for their lower order to get the job done. Only just however, as they then had their own batting collapse, losing 6/40 before eventually being bowled out for 195, a first innings lead of 26.
With the ball for Kensington, leg spinner Lloyd Pope was the standout, finishing with 5/61, including the vital middle-order wickets of Wakim, Daniel Kerber, Edward Steele and Payas Bidwai.
Kensington then donned the pads a second time, and unfortunately it did not get better for them with the blade. This time Christopher Beaty and Nick Winter did the damage, unstoppable on their way to 5/33 and 4/36 respectively as they bowled Kensington out for just 104.
With the contest all but over, University took a second turn with the bat, facing just five overs for the loss of no wickets as they celebrated the 2020/21 title in the slowly fading Sunday afternoon sun.
29 March 2021