CRICKET: Softly spoken, no-fuss opener Byron Gale just gives a swift raise of the bat after any good knock.
This year, the Emerald Magpies junior is making a habit of it.
Last Saturday the Central Queensland Centurions under-21s batsman crafted a rock solid display of 81 against the Mackay Whitsundays.
The week before he made 70-odd for Gracemere, both against the new ball.
His innings was over shadowed due to the drama involved in the win, when CQ skipper Kade Horan bagged a hat-trick and the last three wickets of the game to seal the win.
Gale though, had left a telling mark. When he left the crease, CQ were 3-219 and the platform was laid.
"I was seeing the ball pretty well out there, finding the bat and watching it well,” Gale said.
"Most of my runs came down the ground. Hit plenty of straight drives to the boundary.
"Our game plan at the start of the day was to just bat the 50 overs. It was a good deck we needed to get the runs.
"It would definitely have been nice to get the 100 but more importantly make 300 as a team. They were a good side and came pretty close to stealing it. It was scary at the end.”
A hundred way still elude him, but at only 18 time is certainly on his side.
Since plying his trade in Rockhampton and Emerald, Gale has quickly found his groove with his new local club.
"They are all good guys, I have played with or against most of them before and they look after me,” he said.
While Gale top scored, every batsman had solid starts without ready going on with their innings, bar Dylan Page who made 51.
With the ball in hand and slightly under the pump, Mackay Whitsundays batsman Mitchell Casey was going hell for leather.
He ended his innings standed on 113 not out and unlucky to run out of partners. Left arm quick Horan brutally swept through the tail with 5-32 including a hat-trick.
CQ's under-21s failed to follow up their impressive Saturday win going down to Mackay by seven wickets.
Dylan Page again proved he was a stubborn wicket, top scoring with 45 as CQ were bowled out for 147.