THE Horsham Saints could have a batting line-up that takes them deep into finals after making 9-343 against Jung Tigers on the first day of their two-day game.
A 205 opening-run partnership between Mark Crafter and Gary Davidson well and truly put the side in a winning position at City Oval in Horsham.
Captain Austin Smith said the opening run stand was pivotal after a tricky start.
“You’re always set to make a good score when you get a good start like that,” Smith said.
“It was tough batting early actually, the ball was nipping around a bit. They did well to hang in until the ball softened up a little bit then we were able to make some runs.”
Davidson fell agonisingly short of a century, falling for 98 runs after chipping a ball to mid wicket off the bowling of Tyler Puls. But it was a different story for Crafter, who made 113 runs to bring up the Saints’ first century for the season.
READ MORE: Horsham Cricket Association season preview
Jung’s David Puls eventually bowled Crafter, ending an innings that included 15 fours and two sixes. Crafter and Davidson have both been in great form this season and have been pivotal to the Saints’ improvement with the bat.
Captain Smith chipped in with 41 runs, while Brad Sproule made 51 runs in his first notable innings of the A Grade season.
The Saints’ lower order showed little resistance, with the side losing 3-11 at the end of the day, but the damage was already done, with a memorable opening partnership setting up an impressive total.
However, with the quick outfield and a favourable batting surface, Smith warned that the game is far from over.
“345 is get-able at City Oval if you don’t bowl well,” he said.
“It’s pretty important that we come switched on next week and not arrogant as if it’s going to just happen. It’s a really quick outfield, you don’t have to smack the ball to get it to the boundary.”
It was also a great day for Homers, with openers Simon Hopper and Adam Atwood both making centuries.
Hopper made 162 runs, while Atwood made 100 in a 236-run partnership against West Wimmera.
Hopper hit 22 fours and a six, with Atwood hitting 14 fours against a helpless Warriors attack.
It was a tough day for the Warriors, as Craig Britten added 75 runs and three sixes, and Jarred Combe chipped in with 25 runs. Homers finished their innings of 75 overs at 2-375 to put themselves well and truly in a winning position.
Laharum had some difficulties with the bat against Rup-Minyip, but has still posted a competitive 8-247 from 75 overs after the first day. Rup-Minyip won’t need to bat too quickly in trying to chase down the target when play resumes.