A devastating opening burst from quicks Jackson Gwynne and Jack Montgomery ignited Central North to a commanding win in their NSW Country Colts opener at Narrabri on Monday.
The home side had Western on the back foot from virtually the first ball of the day with Gwynne and Montgomery reveling in the humid conditions.
Gwynne claimed three wickets in his first two overs to have Western 3-6 after five.
If they weren’t already then, they would have been rueing their decision to bat first when Gwynne snared his fourth to make it 4-13.
Rex Greaves (2-22) then joined the party as they slumped to 6-37.
Western managed to scramble their way to 107, Gwynne fittingly wrapping up the Western innings two overs into his second spell to finish with 5-24.
Central North co-coach Tom Groth admitted they weren’t expecting the wicket to do as much as it did early, and said Gwynne and Montgomery bowled “really well”.
“They just executed really well. We had a game plan just to bowl that length in the first 10 overs when the ball was swinging,” he said.
“Jackson really nailed it.”
Montgomery was equally as good at the other end, conceding only five runs off his 11 overs.
“We just built up the pressure and we caught well,” Groth said.
“We took a couple of sharp chances behind wicket.”
He singled out both keeper Henry Smith and Shannon Threlfo.
The bowlers that followed Gwynne and Montgomery ensured their good work wasn’t undone, keeping the pressure on.
“All the guys that came on bowled well,” Groth said.
“The wicket probably suited the seam bowlers more so but we got a few handy overs out of our spinners.”
Conrad George, Isaac Barry and Sean Gibson all chimed in with a wicket.
“Western had a couple of young players that have got big reputations, but our boys didn’t get overawed by that, if anything they stepped up,” he said.
Conscious of the mindset that players can fall into chasing small totals, he said they just spoke about treating it as a normal innings.
“We took the focus off the score,” Groth said.
“We just wanted to focus on our game plan.”
“We did lose a couple of early one’s but we had a good little partnership between Isaac Barry (26) and Adam McGuirk (38) and that steadied the ship.”
They put on 53 for the third wicket, Jacob Page and Threlfo finishing off the job as they picked up a bonus point for chasing down the runs inside 30 overs.
Groth said they didn’t really talk about the bonus point until the last five overs.
“We thought if we get out there and batted normally we’d get the bonus point anyway,” he said.
They have Newcastle on Tuesday, which will be a good test with the Novocastrians big winners over North Coastal.
After posting 9-279 on the back of half-centuries from Ahmed Badat (60), Joshua Claridge (59) and Michael Richardson (69) they dismissed North Coastal for 178.
In other games Riverina chased down ACT/Southern District’s 191 with seven wickets in hand while Central Coast successfully defended 221 against Greater Illawarra.
Day 1 Results:
Riverina 3-192 (J Staines 44no B Harper 42 H Rosengren 34 S Morris 23no D Bennett 22 J Allen 2-35) bt ACT Southern Districts 191 (T Seaman 53 J Low-McMahon 43 A Jones 30 E Keogh 3-25 D Bennett 2-22 H Rosengren 2-26 S Morris 2-45),
Central Northern 5-110 (A McGuirk 38 I Barry 26 T Singh 2-10 B Larance 2-27) bt Western Cricket 109 (B Wheeler 37 B Mitchell 25 J Gwynne 5-24 R Greaves 2-22) with 1 bonus point,
Central Coast 221 (J Leary 51 C Rainger 46 J Hardy 41 N Hay 20 C Barton 2-23 N Gardner 2-25 B Denney 2-36 K Phillips 2-41) bt Greater Illawarra 159 (D O'Shannessy 42no C Maddinson 20 C Rainger 2-34 H Townsend 2-36 K Daley 2-37),
Newcastle 9-279 (M Richardson 69 A Badat 60 J Claridge 59 C Lennox 25 O Cronin 3-52 D Beaumont 2-48) bt North Coastal 178 (B Pierce 36 C McDowell 24 O Cronin 22 J Humphreys 21 J Korn 20 A Cahill 4-24 T Gray 2-44) with 1 bonus point
Table: Newcastle 5 (2.02), Central Northern 5 (1.53), Central Coast 4 (1.24), Riverina 4 (0.56), ACT Southern Districts 0 (-0.56), Greater Illawarra (-1.24), Western (-1.53), North Coastal (-2.02)
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.