Kershaw steers Australia to victory, Sri Lanka claim third win

Victorious BMS, Sri Lanka (blue) team with their counterparts National University of Science and Technology (NUST), ZImbabwe team.

Though they had lost their opening match, University of Sydney made a resounding surge through the back end of the Red Bull Campus Cricket World Final group stages, and have now locked down the last spot in the semi-final. This was thanks in no small part to the all-round talents of Joseph Kershaw, who hit 27 runs and took 3 for 16 in their victory against Marathwada Mitra Mandal College of Commerce (MMMC College), Pune.

Three teams were in contention for the knockouts berth when the match began, with MMMC College and Jinnah Government College Nazimabad (JGCN), Karachi capable of progressing based on run rates. Sydney, however only needed to win the match to secure their position in the knockouts, and an impressive bowling attack led by Joseph Kershaw delivered them a 22-run win, even though their batsmen had only mustered a total of 136 for 8. Kershaw himself had been the only batsman to clear the boundary in Sydney’s innings.

India were faced with having to reach the target of 137 inside 10.4 overs if they were to achieve a sufficient run-rate to qualify for the semis, but quickly lost their entire top order to Sydney’s quicks. Their hopes were essentially dashed inside the first three overs, in which they had slipped to 5 for 28.

Meanwhile, at Colt’s Cricket Club, University of Liberal Arts, Bangladesh (ULAB) quicks had sewed up the other semi-final berth, in a crushing win over Herriott Watt University, UAE. Morsalin Mortaza, who had claimed a five-wicket haul on day two, continued his good bowling form, claiming 3 for 11, while Shariful Islam – another right-arm quick – took 3 for 7. Their efforts saw ULAB dismiss Herriott Watt for 82 inside 17 overs. That target would barely stretch the ULAB batting order, which sauntered home with six wickets and 62 balls to spare.

The day’s biggest wins, however, went to the two strongest teams of the group stages: North West University (NWU), South Africa, and Business Management School, Sri Lanka (BMS). NWU had made a commanding 192 for 7 against JGCN, thanks in part to the rapid 70-run stand produced by their openers, Wihan Lubbe and Janneman Malan. That total always looked steep, but when NWU fast bowler Jean-Piere Le Roux sparked a top order collapse, the match slipped very quickly from JGCN’s grasp. They were reduced to 7 for 74 in the 13 th over – Le Roux taking 4 for 12, and JGCN eventually lost by 76 runs.

BMS’ margin of victory was six wickets, as they brushed aside World Final first-timers National University of Science and Technology (NUST), ZImbabwe. Having dismissed Nust for 108 thanks largely to the work of BMS’ offspinners Koshan Jayawickrama and Geshan Wimaladharma. With the bat, Thilaksha Sumanasiri blasted two sixes and four fours in an 11-ball innings that yielded 30, while opener Dinuk Wikramanayake produced a more measured innings to finish with 31. They top their group and will now face Australia in the semi-final. 

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