A 322-run opening stand between Ryan Grundy and captain Linc McRae has helped give Huntly-North Epsom a score of more than 400 to defend in its round 12 Bendigo District Cricket Association game against Sandhurst.
Needing to win their remaining three matches to be a chance of climbing from fifth spot into the final four, the Power blasted 4-408 off their 85 overs against the Dragons at J.L. King Weeroona Oval.
Grundy (176) and McRae (145) both scored centuries as they capitalised on a batsman-friendly wicket and lightning fast outfield.
Grundy also had some luck when he was dropped on 28 by Dragons’ captain Nick Scullie.
McRae and Grundy brought up their 100-run partnership in the 30th over, and by tea had the Power 0-144 off 44 overs.
Grundy had already reached his ton by tea, before the runs kept ticking after the break.
The 200-run partnership came up in the 52nd over, while Grundy hit Clinton Botham (0-68) for six in the 66th over to take the score past 300.
The Dragons finally got their first breakthrough in the 69th over with the score on 322 when Grundy holed out and was caught by Shane Robinson off Stephen Becker (4-82), who took all four wickets to fall.
Grundy faced 202 balls and hit 22 fours and three sixes. The 24-year-old now has the two highest scores in the BDCA this season, having also made 201 against Bendigo in round two.
Having been padded up since 1pm, Power No.3 batsman Brodie McRae, who finished 32 n.o., finally began his innings at 5.23pm.
After waiting 69 overs to get their first wicket, the Dragons’ second came four overs later when Linc McRae was well caught low to the ground by Scullie.
McRae’s 145 was his highest senior score.
The skipper, coming off an unbeaten 82 against White Hills the previous week, hit 19 fours and one six in his 221-ball stay at the crease.
While Grundy and Linc McRae put on 322 for the first wicket, it was still well short of the BDCA’s opening stand record of 387, held by Eaglehawk’s Matt Fitt and Matt Ford against the Power in 2006-07.
“They were really good batting conditions out there today, so we are obviously very happy with how the day turned out,” McRae said.
“Ryan is having a fantastic season and batted superbly again today, which was great to see.”
The Power passed the 400-run mark in the 84th over, with their final score of 408 including 47 fours and seven sixes.
The Dragons’ 85 overs included just five maidens.
Sandhurst will need to score at 4.8 runs per over this Saturday to pull off an unlikely victory.
● The Power’s scoring breakdown:
10 overs: 0-33. 20: 0-69. 30: 0-100. 40: 0-146. 50: 0-185. 60: 0-257. 70: 1-326. 80: 2-382. 85: 4-408.