NORMALLY when a young cricketer scores his first century, he doesn’t need to be asked twice to talk about it.
Not Cavaliers’ Bailey Preston.
The quietly spoken 15-year-old was modest when speaking of his efforts.
He blasted 111 last weekend against Waratahs in Orange District Cricket Association’s third grade competition, before taking a wicket and snaring two catches behind the stumps.
“It was exciting, I hit it pretty well,” he said.
Incredibly, he was not the only Preston to impress last Saturday at Jack Brabham (3). Bailey’s two uncles, Scott and Mitch Preston were both amongst the wickets.
Scott tore through the Waratahs line up, taking 6-23 while Mitch snared 2-28.
Only one Waratahs wicket wasn’t taken by a Preston.
Bailey’s run of form comes at a good time, as he has been named in Cavaliers’ first grade team for today’s second day against Kinross, replacing regular skipper Richie Venner.
Today’s game will be his second chance in the top grade, having made his debut earlier in the season and, despite being nervous, Preston said he is looking forward to the challenge.
Cavaliers stand-in skipper James Ryan said Preston deserves his chance and won’t disappoint.
“Bailey has been killing it in juniors, and is a go-to guy now in third grade,” Ryan said.
“Obviously it is a massive step up, but it’s also a huge opportunity.
“It’s great to see young guys coming through the ranks. Guys like Rich, Stu (Middleton), Chris (Martin) and Brad (Wright) aren’t going to be around forever and this is a good chance for Bailey to get a taste of good, hard cricket.”
Cavaliers rolled Kinross for just 104, before Venner pushed his team to 3-252 and a 148-run lead overnight, finishing 104 not out individually.
With first innings points already secured, Ryan said his troops are only thinking of one thing.
“An outright win, that’s our goal,” he said.
“If we manage an outright, we leapfrog CYMS into first, unless they outright Centrals too. Holding down a top two spot is essential now.”
Cavaliers and Kinross continue their battle at Riawena Oval today, from 1pm.