The UOW Cricket Club have started their summer in the best possible manner after scoring an eight wicket win over Wests at Figtree Oval on Saturday afternoon.

After Wests won the toss and elected to bat, some brilliant bowling saw the University restrict the Devils to 8/122, before the students, led by James Biggs’ 34 not out stand, comfortably chased down the total with an over and eight wickets to spare.

UOW Cricket Club President Matt Threadgate expressed his satisfaction at starting the year in the winners’ circle, highlighting the collective joy of the team’s success.

“It’s always good to start any season off with a win,” he said.

“We’ve got a few new players in the club, so it’s good to get them on board and get them straight into a winning team.”

Off the back of a great season last year, UOW are among the favourites to take out the T20 competition in 2023 and will be looking to carry that form deeper into the 50-over competition which begins in a few weeks’ time.

“Last year’s T20 [competition] we played in the grand final and went down by a narrow loss on the last ball of the match,” Threadgate said.

“We’re certainly in the mix for finals, we want to push through to the T20 finals and really try and take that form deeper into the one-day competition.

“Last year we had a very strong pre-Christmas, a very strong first half of the season, but we faded in the latter half, so it’s just something we’re working on this year, getting plans right, getting fitness right, so we can go a bit deeper into this season’s competition.”

Mr Threadgate, reflecting on Saturday’s performance, emphasised the team’s collective contribution, stating, yesterday’s effort was a real team endeavour.

UOW vice-captain Luke Huard, who finished as second top scorer with 31 off 33 deliveries, echoed the sentiments of his club president in saying that every player “chipped in” to contribute to the victory. 

“It was certainly a good team effort,” he said.

“I opened the batting with Biggsy [James Biggs], we’ve opened the batting together a couple of times before and we got off to a good start.

“We were just able to keep the scoreboard ticking over, which was the goal, and stay on top of the required run rate.”

Meanwhile, in the second grade contest, Wests ensured they left the round with something after a 57-run victory.

Mark Whitmee led the Devils to victory with a notable 49-run stand, while Uni’s Mitch Eady stood out as the top-performing bowler, delivering a fantastic spell of 3/10 off 4 overs.

Audio: UOW Cricket Club President Matt Threadgate speaks on his side’s success in the opening T20 match of the season against Wests Illawarra.