Bulls bounce back to best
CRICKET: Essentially playing for double points, it was the perfect toss to win for Gracemere Bulls skipper Aaron Harmsworth.
Batting first meant the Cap Coast Parkana bowling unit had to sweat it out in stifling Rockhampton heat, which in tune cooled down once Gracemere had the cherry.
For the first time this year, Harmsworth found himself amongst the runs, blasting his way to 91 (62) in a true captains knock.
Gracemere posted 7 for 210 with opener Mark O'Keefee and Bryce Heal chipping in with 43 and 44 apiece.
"It was an excellent toss to win in that heat, the weather probably suited us all day, it cooled down in our innings with a bit of rain which skidded the ball up,” Harmsworth said at stumps.
"It was good that we batted through the 40 overs and still had wickets in hand.
"I think we were only 38 after 14 overs, going pretty slow at the start but it was part of the plan to have wickets in hand, we have a lot of aggression in the lower order. I think the last 15/20 overs we were going at eight an over.
"So 210 felt like a 240 today. Big boundaries, slow outfield and the pitch was popping, I was pretty confident.”
Cap Coast gun bats Brendan Dunbar, Ritchie Pershouse and Shaun Gilvear set about their chase well but fine spells from Heal and leggie Justin Peacock brought about their downfall. CCP ran out of overs on 9/174.
"I thought Justin Peacock bowled exceptionally well in getting four wickets. He got their big wickets, their three best, and Justin is such a key player in our team,” the skipper said.
"I was extremely happy with our attack. It was just a good win for us, coming off a loss.
"This game counted for both Cap Challenge and Rocky A-grade. With no semi finals in either you can't fall behind the eight-ball and have to keep driving forward.
"Just a good attitude change today.”
As one of the more elder statesmans of his side, Harmsworth slogging ability was just what the doctor ordered for his side, even if he downplayed his innings.
"It was nice to get a few runs, I've been feeling good in the nets so I was quietly confident. It was nice to get a few away, proving an old fella can still score,” he laughed.
"That's just how I bat, see it and hit it. Not the most technically correct batsman, I have a decent eye and trust my running between wicket.
"I will never be a technical cricketer, I am a hockey player batting left handed. And play golf right handed, not much technique.
"I was bowled at the end, I couldn't hit a ball past the inner circle, my strength was sapped, from the heat and I have a bung foot. It was one of the hardest physical innings to get through. Just focused on getting the job done, I knew it was a big game.”