ORANGE wanted to stamp its authority on the 2012-13 Mitchell Cricket Council under 21s season early.
That’s exactly what the team did.
The defending champions scored a six-wicket win over a young Blue Mountains side at Wade Park.
Orange won the toss and sent the Blue Mountains in to bat.
The young mountain men batted out their 50 overs and finished on 8-139.
Orange then picked up the bat and reached 4-147 in the 26th over.
Orange coach Steve Warrington was pleased with his team’s winning start.
“As defending premiers it was a great way to start. We want to stamp our authority on the competition,” Warrington said.
“It was a good effort today. We bowled really well in the first 16 overs and had them at 4-18. They fought back in the next 16 overs.
“Then our opening combination of John Warrington and James Ryan made 71 for the first wicket and they set the platform.”
Blue Mountains struggled with the bat early to be 4-13 after seven overs.
Zac Opdam (29) and Tom Gasparre (53) then put their side back on track and made 38 for the fifth wicket.
Gasparre was part of another good partnership when he and Justin Davies (22 not out) put on 60 for the eighth wicket.
The Blue Mountains boys batted out their overs but the total was always going to be tough to defend.
Nick Roweth was strong in his eight overs taking 3-31 while Jono Warren (2-20), Ed Morrish (1-14) and Hamish Finlayson (1-21) also claimed wickets.
James Ryan (71) and John Warrington (17) put on 71 for the first wicket and Tom Harbison (19) also chipped in.
Stuart Naden (6 not out) and Jake Pauletto (14no) pushed Orange to 4-147 and the win.
Alex Crowther took 2-33 for Blue Mountains and Jarrad Hastings (1-30) claimed the other scalp.
Hastings, the Blue Mountains captain, said his team had work to do before their next game against Mudgee.
“It wasn’t too bad. Our top order fell over and that put pressure on our bowlers,” Hastings said.
“Our top order definitely needs to improve. We also need more talk in the field and lift out enthusiasm and that has to start with me.”
Orange have the bye in the competition’s second round this Sunday.
Instead they will have to wait until January 6, when they take on Mudgee, for their next under 21s match.