FOR Mandurang opening batsman Linton Colclough, a more relaxed approach to his batting is reaping its rewards in the Emu Valley Cricket Association this season.
Colclough is enjoying a stellar season with the bat for the Rangas that has been highlighted by three centuries.
The 24-year-old has been one of the key pillars behind the Rangas establishing themselves as the competition pace-setters, with his 580 runs the most in the competition heading into the last three rounds of the season.
Of those 580 runs, 383 of them have come in three century knocks - 140 against Sedgwick in round two, 101 against Axe Creek in round 10 and 142 against Emu Creek last week.
Now in his fourth season at the Rangas after moving to Bendigo for university from Euroa, Colclough attributes his run-feast to easing the pressure on himself to perform with the willow week in, week out.
"I'm just enjoying my cricket a bit more this season," Colclough said this week.
"For the first couple of years that I was at the club I was feeling a bit of pressure to try to perform each week, whereas this season I've just let go a bit more and tried to have a bit of fun... see ball, hit ball and taken a bit of that pressure off to score.
"That has helped me score a few runs, which has been good."
That "see ball, hit ball" mentality was on full display against Emu Creek last Saturday when Colclough needed just 78 balls to score his 142 in what was an innings that featured 124 runs coming in sixes (12) and fours (13).
As well as a more relaxed mindset, what's also helping Colclough this season is that with the competition all one-day games, he knows every Saturday the Rangas are playing he will get a hit.
"I've found it really helpful these past two seasons getting a hit every week. When there's two-day games you can sometimes go a few weeks without getting a hit, so batting every week definitely helps," Colclough said.
As well as Colcough leading the EVCA runs, Mandurang also has the competition's leading wicket-taker with Beau Clements, who has 23.
Captained for the first time this season by Corey Dickins, the Rangas are 19 points clear on top of the ladder with a 10-1-1 record, with the only game they have lost coming against Marong in round three.
The Rangas have the bye on Saturday.
Saturday's EVCA games - California Gully v West Bendigo, Marong v Sedgwick, Axe Creek v Emu Creek. United, Mandurang, Spring Gully bye.
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