Cricket Illawarra's newest top-grade side Illawarra Passionate Cricketers Club continue to prove that they are exactly where they belong after notching up another impressive win on Saturday.
IPCC made it two wins from three starts in the Twenty20 competition in thrilling fashion, edging past University of Wollongong by one wicket at Thomas Dalton Park. The game came right down to the final over, where number 11 batter Arshdeep Singh delivered the winning blow with a huge six.
The Students captain Luke Huard won the toss and elected to bat first, however, their innings never truly got going as University were bowled out for 84 in the 18th over. Dylan Lawson top-scored with 26 runs, while Singh was the pick of the bowlers with 3/14 from four overs.
In reply, IPCC were in huge trouble early at 5/20, as Will Perkins inspired UOW with an impressive spell.
However, IPCC's middle-order rallied through Arun Thangavel (22) and Sazzad Khan (16), before the tail finished the job with one wicket in the shed. Perkins was the pick of University's attack with 3/11 from four overs.
It was IPCC's second victory since being promoted to first grade ahead of the 2023/24 season, following the withdrawal of Helensburgh. The newcomers thrashed Corrimal in their campaign opener last weekend before suffering a reality check against Keira on Saturday morning.
They then bounced back to hold on in thrilling fashion against UOW that afternoon.
"I'm very happy and proud of the boys," IPCC president Shiva Hampasagar told the Mercury.
"We were a bit nervous when we started because none of them had played first grade before. But the belief and gelling together with team bonding has helped them to get through these things."
Conversely, University were left to rue a missed opportunity at Thomas Dalton Park.
The IPCC defeat continued a mixed start to the T20 league for the Students, who thumped Wests in round one before falling to Wollongong on Saturday morning.
"The result was a bit disappointing (against IPCC), but it doesn't take away from the game that it was," Uni skipper Luke Huard said.
"You can definitely say that our bowling performance outweighed our batting. Will Perkins opened the bowling and took a few quick wickets in the first couple of overs, and he was able to get the ball to go both ways. And then everyone else chipped in after that. We almost pulled it back from the grave, but it wasn't to be.
"We definitely came in (to the season) with some confidence thinking that we've got the team to win. I think Wollongong outplayed us - that was pretty acceptable - but we feel like we should have been on the other side of the IPCC game. We had the potential to win that match, but we didn't.
"They seem to have a pretty close-knit team and they were skilled enough to beat us, so I think they're someone to watch out for the rest of the season."
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