Whites are back, and the heat's on

THE whites were back on and cricketers were feeling the heat on their backs during the first round of Southern Star Sports Shield games in Rocky on Saturday.

Frenchville made a solid start to its campaign with a win against Norths Tigers at the Rockhampton Cricket Grounds.

Going for five A-grade titles in a row, the Falcons captain and star opener Todd Wells began the season in style by racing to a century at a run a minute.

Wells shared a 157 run opening partnership with Brent Rothery before finally getting out for 112 runs with the Frenchville score at 157.

During his stay at the crease Wells plundered the Norths attack for 20 fours and a six, including a boundary off every ball of a Justin Peacock over.

Frenchville went on to score 8-257 from its 40 overs, a total Norths never looked capable of reaching. Eddie Doherty was the best of the Norths bowlers with 3-33 from his eight overs while Andrew Keiler kept Frenchville quiet in his spell of seven overs, conceding just 17 runs for the one wicket.

Wells was particularly impressed by Rothery's contribution of 62 runs as he doesn't usually open for the team.

“Brent is a very talented cricketer and has worked hard on his game,” he said.

Despite scoring a century first time up, Wells is not taking anything for granted

“It's pretty good to get off with a ton,” he admitted.

The opening bowling partnership David Goltz (2-8) and Karl Batey (2-32) never allowed Norths to chase that target as wickets fell regularly with Norths innings ending at 151 all out.

In the other match Brothers set Gracemere a target of 187 that it found very hard to defend.

Brothers batsmen managed some reasonable starts with Shane Caird scoring 54, Ken Litschner 48 and Murray Harch 41.

“We were happy to keep them in the 180s,” Gracemere skipper Michael Harth admitted.

Although Brothers had a late innings surge it was the work done by Gracemere's opening group of bowlers that set the scene as Brothers were just 2-57 after the first 20 overs.

While most of the Gracemere attack went well, Harth singled out youngster Ben Milne for special praise for his tidy spell in conceding just 24 runs from his eight overs on a superb batting strip.

Gracemere replied with 5-190 to win the match. Right-handed opener Alex Raguse was still there at the close on 74 not out.

“It was a very mature innings,” Harth said.

Aaron Harmsworth struck a well compiled 32 and Calvin Murray 28 while Harth hit 21 at a run-a-ball before getting out while going for the big one.

Scott Mansfield and Litschner were the pick of Brothers bowlers.

Next week Gracemere visit Capricorn Coast in a two-day game.

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