Highlands prove no match for Rocky
ROCKHAMPTON proved too strong for the Central Highlands in their first match of the CQ Championships at Kalka Shades yesterday.
Rocky batted first and made 205 runs off 50 overs for the loss of seven wickets. Wicketkeeper-batsman Lachlan Hartley top scored for the hosts with an impressive 53. He was ably supported by Justin Peacock with 37.
Hartley had a fine game, not only top scoring, but taking four catches behind the stumps and effecting a critical run out in the Highlands' innings, snaring the prized wicket off their top batsman Craig Cullen for a duck.
Rocky's Travis Applewaite got onto the ball quickly and sent a fine throw over the stumps to Hartley who removed the bails with Cullen short of his crease.
"It was a good run out," Hartley said.
"It was what we needed at the time. It was a tough match. They dug in well at the end, but we are happy with the win. It is a good start for us."
Rocky's skipper Aaron Harmsworth agreed.
"In the end it was a good win," he said.
"We started very slowly. But the key was we didn't lose wickets early, on what turned out to be a bit of a sticky wicket. We took a while to get going, but some late hitting from Justin Peacock got us a respectable score. I thought 220 would be good, but we had to settle for 205."
"But Craig Cullen's run out when we were bowling was a big moment in the match. He is a key player and to get him for a duck was excellent. It was great fielding from Travis. That got us on a bit of a roll."
Rocky really did take some time to get going with the bat. After 10 overs they had scored just four runs, for no loss. By comparison, Central Highlands were 21 after 10, for no loss.
But Rocky were in the ascendency in comparison at the halfway mark, getting a wriggle on with their run rate with wickets in hand to be 1/51. After 25 overs the Highlanders were struggling at 4/73.
It took until the 15th over for Rocky to break through with the ball, when Luke Johnstone struck and the Highlands were 1/29. That bought Cullen to the crease and he departed run out not long after the local side lifted.
At the 45-over mark, the Highlander's cause looked hopeless, despite some excellent late hitting by Byron Lubbe (52), which included four fours and two sixes.
But he holed out in the last over, with the visitors still trailing by 30 runs.
Rockhampton 7/205 (50 overs) def Central Highlands 9/175 (50).