At the mid-season break of the Bendigo District Cricket Association, LUKE WEST picks his team of the season.... so far.
1. Cameron Taylor (Strathdale-Maristians) – the reigning Cricketer of the Year started slowly, but there is no hotter player in the competition at the moment, with the opening batsman having made a century in each of the past three games. Is the leading run-scorer in the BDCA with 436 at an average of 87.2. Although, since November 25, his average is 175.5.
2. Scott Johnson (Golden Square) – began the summer in sensational style with three scores above 70 and at one stage having a batting average of 293.0. Has now got 421 runs to go with 17 wickets and leads the Bendigo Advertiser-Bicknells Player of the Year Award, which he has already won twice.
3. Heath Behrens (Bendigo United) – just keeps doing what he does best – making runs. Has made 416, including three scores above 80 in his past five innings. Is one century shy of equalling Wayne Walsh’s BDCA record of 24 hundreds. I’ll back him to get to the record before the season ends.
4. Ryan Grundy (Huntly-North Epsom) – after a lean run with the bat last season, Grundy has bounced back this summer, having made 383 runs at an average of more than 50. He has the highest score this season, having made 201 not out against Bendigo in round two, with that innings alone eclipsing his total runs for last season.
5. Anthony West (Eaglehawk) – one of the recruits of the season after returning to Eaglehawk from Sandhurst. Has passed 40 five times in his eight innings on the way to 367 runs in the top-order.
6. Linton Jacobs (Strathdale-Maristians) – has been the dominant keeper-batsman in the competition with 351 runs and 15 dismissals. Has passed 50 three times in six innings, and with his side sitting undefeated at the top of the ladder, life’s pretty good for the Suns’ captain.
7. Brenton Jones (Sandhurst) – is back at Sandhurst and has been a rock in the middle-order with 332 runs. With an average of 83.0 from eight innings, only Cameron Taylor has a better batting average in the competition.
8. Adam Burns (Kangaroo Flat) – took him a month with the ball to get going, but has been back to his wicket-taking best over the past five games and has now taken 22. Has carried the Roos’ batting with his 330 runs, which includes three scores over 80.
9. Andrew Smith (Eaglehawk) – the veteran all-rounder is putting together another solid season for the Hawks. Has combined 18 wickets at the very tidy average of 12.8 with 244 runs batting either in the middle or order or opening.
10. Ben DeAraugo (Strathdale-Maristians) – just when his days of taking big bags of wickets looked like they may have passed him by, the Suns’ paceman has produced a ripping past five games. Only took four wickets in the first three games, but has since captured 23 in the past five and leads the competition with 27 scalps. And for a bit of icing on the cake, is now the greatest first XI wicket-taker in Suns’ history with 309.
11. Quinton Bentley (Sandhurst) – the Dragons’ opening bowler has missed two games with a finger injury, yet has picked up 23 wickets – the second most in the competition. That figure of 23 has been aided by the fact he has already taken at least five wickets in an innings three times.