WHEN Cavaliers opening batsmen Richie Venner and James Ryan set about putting on a record partnership on Saturday, Waratahs captain Adam Brakenridge said there was nothing his side could do about it.
The pair made an unbeaten 362 off 40 overs in their Orange District Cricket Association first grade season opener at Riawena Oval.
It is the highest first grade partnership scored in the Orange competition.
It helped Cavaliers to a 260-run victory over Waratahs.
Captain Venner worked his way to an unbeaten 222 which included 28 fours and eight sixes.
Ryan, Cavaliers’ vice-captain, was also in fine form scoring his best first grade total of 128 not out, with 21 fours and one six.
“I don’t think it mattered who Cavaliers had played, Richie still would have done what he did. He was seeing them like basketballs,” Brakenridge said.
“It didn’t matter what we did. He was just having a field day. It was good to watch, actually.”
Venner said he and Ryan simply had a good day.
“James and I said we both wanted to bat out at least until drinks and anything after that was a bonus,” Venner said.
“We kicked on and it went from there. Both of us saw the ball well and you’ve got to cash in on that. We just backed ourselves and it paid off. We weren’t just hitting willy-nilly. There were lots of good cricket shots in there.”
Venner said he was happy in what the partnership meant for the team, but he had to admit to being pleased to score 200 for the first time in the top grade and record his best score.
Even though Cavaliers were defending one of the highest ever Orange one-day totals, the bowlers didn’t hold back.
“Our guys were chomping at the bit. They had had enough time in the nets and they wanted to bowl in the middle,” Venner said.
“They bowled well and we still had the luxury of not bowling all of them.”
Nick Frail started well for Waratahs with 24, Rex Cochrane contributed with 25 and Matt Brakenridge made 17.
But Waratahs simply couldn’t match Cavaliers and they were all out for 102.
Western representative Liam Gough took 3-20 from his eight overs and Tom Westcott claimed 3-27 from 4.4 overs.
Waratahs were making a comeback to the ODCA and Saturday’s match was their first in the top grade since the 2009-10 season.
Brakenridge said it was not the return he had hoped for, but he was happy with how his understrength side performed.
“We had five or six guys out, so we called up a few seconds graders. I think a few of them have worked their way into the first grade side,” he said.
“No one really gave up. Even though we were getting smashed, everyone was still on their toes. That was good.”
Waratahs will have a point to prove when they take on Cavaliers in the opening Royal Hotel Cup match this Friday.
“At least it’s only 20 overs instead of 40,” Brakenridge laughed.