AN unbeaten ton from CYMS batsman Luke Clarke has fired the green and golds to a comprehensive 76-run victory over Orange District Cricket Association first grade defending premiers Centrals at Riawena Oval on Saturday.
In his first innings for his new club, Clarke blew the opposition’s attack away, smashing 105 not out in CYMS’ total of 7-229 off 40 overs.
It’s the first century by a CYMS batsman in the ODCA first grade competition since the 2009-10 season, when first drop Ian Clatworthy hit 116 on February 6, 2010, against Cavaliers.
CYMS stand-in skipper Dave Neil praised Clarke’s innings.
“Clarkey batted very well,” Neil said.
“He hit the ball particularly well through cover and point.
“He found the boundary often on a pitch that offered very little for bowlers but at the same time, the ball didn’t come on to the bat hard at all.”
Neil said the key to the win was getting through a difficult period against Centrals pair Jarrod Simpson and Dan Sandford, with both quicks sharing the scalps of openers John Warrington (nine) and Mick McMahon (13) with the score on 27.
Sandford (1-25) bowled his eight overs out with Simpson (1-30) bowling his first six overs for 1-8 before earning a spell.
It was at that point CYMS attacked.
Although Neil (20) fell to Anthony Salmon (1-25), both Clarke and Michael Campbell (55) tore the Centrals bowlers apart.
The pair put on 138 in 109 balls for the fifth wicket, with Clarke hammering 17 boundaries and a six in his unbeaten ton, while Campbell belted seven fours and cleared the rope on the one occasion in his explosive innings.
In reply, Centrals started their chase well with Simpson and Matt Fisher putting on 42 for the opening wicket.
But Fisher soon fell to CYMS spearhead Chris Novak for 20 and then when Simpson was run out for 30 soon after, things looked grim.
Improving Centrals batsman Matt Tedeschi hit 36 but other than Jake Pauletto (23) and skipper Wes Roweth (11), no other Centrals player reached double figures as Novak (5-30) and Josh Sands (3-15) sealed the deal for CYMS bowling out Centrals for 153.
Neil, though, praised the work of experienced tweaker Al Dhatt and young quick Nick Roweth.
“They all kept it tight when we needed it to be,” he said.
“We were pretty comfortable with 230, but Al, Nick and Choc (Sands) tightened it up to the point Centrals needed 12 or 13 an over.”
The round two loss means Centrals are still winless to open the 2012-13 season.
Sandford said he was hopeful a better preparation would ensure the defending champions turn things around fast when Centrals meet Kinross next weekend.
“They used the conditions better than we did,” Sandford said of CYMS.
“We need to go back and work on our batting and our bowling. We just didn’t put the ball in the right areas.”