Ask anyone who’s played at Wade Park and they’ll tell you the same thing, when the wicket’s in good nick there’s nowhere better to bat across all of Western Zone.
Although it’s been a bit slower in recent seasons if Tuesday’s trial game between Orange and Western Suburbs is anything to go by, Wade Park may well be back to its batter-friendly best.
After their exploits with willow in hand, Orange’s Blake Weymouth and Wests’ Antony Eussen will almost definitely tell you that anyway.
Weymouth and Eussen both banged out free-flowing tons in Tuesday’s trial, which the latter side ultimately romped home in by nine wickets.
Weymouth’s 105 accounted for almost half of Orange’s total of 230, he spent a touch over two hours at the crease and smashed 11 fours to go along with a single maximum.
But Eussen went to work in the chase, and stunned the black and golds.
He carried his bat for 124 not out – his dig including 13 fours and one six – to lead the Magpies to the nine-wicket win, which they secured with a whopping 11 overs to spare, needing just 39 of the 50 overs available.
He combined beautifully with Rhys Cattle in a 176-run opening stand, which all but took the game away from the hosts.
Cattle finished with 66 before being lured into a false shot by towering quick Harry McGregor, who finished as Orange’s only wicket-taker with 1-46 from seven.
That brought Kane Truman to the crease, who finished unbeaten on 21 as he and Eussen knocked off the 55 remaining for victory in just seven overs.
Before Wests made light work of the chase, Weymouth was offered support at the top of the order by Hugh Middleton (14), they put on 77 for the second wicket. Harry Grant (25) and George Cumming (20) also made valuable contributions in the middle order.
Ben Coates-Grayson was Wests’ best with the ball, snaring 4-33 from his nine overs.
Tuesday’s 50-over trial was the second of two practice games Orange faced Wests in, the two sides played a Twenty20 at Sally Kennett Oval the day before.
The two games were the perfect way for Orange to kick-off their 2018-19 representative campaign, with positive signs throughout both, particularly for Weymouth.
While he’ll line up for the black and golds, he’ll also be playing for Penrith in NSW Premier Cricket’s AW Green Shield this summer. His ton against Wests, who play in that competition, bodes well for the season ahead in Sydney.
Orange’s summer proper kicks off with Sunday’s opening round of the Challenge Shield, in which the black and golds host Bathurst.
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