GARDNER THE GUN CAN FIRE CITY COLTS TO TITLE
Russell Gardner scores runs for fun, doesn't he?
The veteran City Colts bat basically dug his new club out of a hole on the opening day of round five against Centrals, lifting them from 2-33 when he entered the crease - and later 4-63 - to be in a basically unloseable position come stumps.
His knock of 156 not out, and his 153-run fifth wicket partnership along side Craig Berry (79), helped kick the visiting Bathurst club to 9-330 near the close of play.
They declared and had a crack at Centrals batting line-up with the final four overs of the day to have the hosts at 1-14 heading into day two.
An outright result would be huge for a Colts side currently on the edge of the top four - and Gardner's knock has gifted them that opportunity.
Composed, experienced and with an insatiable hunger for runs, Gardner is the sort of bat that can fire City Colts to a title this summer.
WEATHER DEALS SIDES CRUEL HAND
All Bathurst turf wickets were ruled unfit for play on Saturday, meaning three of this round's BOIDC clashes didn't see any play on day one.
That leaves St Pat's Old Boys and Orange City, two sides in the top four at the moment, not a lot of time to chalk up maximum points.
On the other hand, Cavaliers - 255 runs in front of CYMS after day one - and City Colts, sitting first and fifth respectively, have set themselves up with a chance to shoot for an outright result.
Whether either side can take 20 wickets in a day to do so is debatable, but having had the chance to play on day one has at the very least afforded them that opportunity.
Earning maximum points via outright wins when two-day cricket is being played is a huge win.
Having the competition split across two cities means these little windows where some games are able to be played and others aren't will open - the sides that take those chances when they come their way will be the teams in the top four come the business end of the season.
HUGH'S HUGE EFFORT
Hugh Le Lievre bagged 4-66 from a mammoth 21 overs on Saturday as CYMS toiled hard in the field against Cavaliers at Riawena Oval.
It's a huge effort, bowling anywhere near 20 overs in a day, particularly with the guile and speed (albeit medium pace) the CYMS skipper does.
Le Lievre bowled 15 overs last round, and then the maximum eight he was allocated in the opening two one-day games, before bowling seven in CYMS' third round.
Point is, the CYMS skipper can't possibly keep that up and then expect to be as effective as the green and golds need him to be with the bat.
The newly anointed Western Zone player is more than handy with the ball, and his four-for on Saturday is his best return in club cricket this summer, but someone from CYMS' attack has to step up and give him a hand.
Some of the load has to be taken off his shoulders.
Le Lievre has a top score of 21 so far this summer - for a bloke who has hit two tons in grand finals, that's below par.
FLETCH BLOW FOR CENTRALS
Fletcher Rose is Centrals' most important player - there's no two ways about it.
So losing Rose after he'd bowled just three overs at Wade Park on Saturday was a cruel blow for Daryl Kennewell (also injured) and the red and blacks.
Throw in other injuries to Colin Starkey and leggie Matt Ripps, and Centrals' bowling stocks are quickly running bare.
The Rose injury though, hurts the hardest. He is Centrals' most important bat, too, and his half-ton in the Bonnor Cup on Friday night is further evidence of that.
The sixth-placed Centrals need their full roster firing to make a run at the finals, here's hoping they can their man back sooner rather than later.
STICK A FORK IN ....
Centennials, they're done.
The Bulls really needed a win, or some form of a result, out of their round five clash with Rugby Union to begin a run up the BOIDC ladder this summer.
But given day one of their clash at the sportsground in Bathurst was washed out, and there's looming games against Bathurst City and then defending premiers Orange City before Christmas, the Bulls are running out of chances.
Get out the black pen - Centennials are the first side ruled out for the summer.
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