DESPITE a heavy-hitting knock of 93 from Henry Shoemark, Bathurst’s Western Zone Premier League title defence got off to a losing start in Saturday’s meeting with Dubbo.
Shoemark clubbed nine fours and five sixes at Dubbo’s Victoria Park. The number three batsman’s standout day with the bat took Bathurst to 236 all out.
However, the hosts worked wonders with the willow as they made it to 5-237 with six overs remaining.
Dubbo opener Jordan Peacock was also in the mood to hit the ball all over the park, striking 11 boundaries on his way to 91.
Bathurst captain Jameel Qureshi said bigger partnerships were needed from his side at the crease.
“We lost this game with the bat. Our top five all made starts. Henry was able to go on with it but none of the others could. Having Henry get a score like that is great but someone else needs to be out there doing the same with him,” he said.
“Henry just played like his usual self. He’s an animal out there with the bat.
“I think if another one of our top five batsmen put on a 50-plus score then we go much closer to winning the game. Credit to Dubbo though, they were too good for us and we’ve got a lot to learn from this.
“I thought we bowled and fielded well. Dubbo are an aggressive batting side and that sometimes gives you early opportunities. We couldn’t take our chances though.”
Josh Toole (15) was the first of the Bathurst openers to depart when he was bowled by Ben Patterson.
Remaining opener Nic Broes (30) was able to contribute steadily while Shoemark began to open up.
Bathurst were still in strong position at 2-91 when Broes made his way off the field.
Ryan Peacock (14) and Qureshi (28) couldn’t quite deliver on their promising starts while Daniel Casey (26 not out) was the only batsman further down the order to make a double digit contribution.
Jordan Peacock’s knock gave Dubbo a great foundation to work off.
Jordan Moran (48) was able to stay in the middle until the 19th over as he took Dubbo to 1-111. Mitch Bower (42) was also strong with the bat.
Matt Stephen gave Bathurst a glimmer of hope when he removed man Marty Jeffrey (3) and Will Lindsay (0) in the space of two deliveries to have Dubbo at 5-202.
It wasn’t to be, as Patterson (21 not out) and Mat Skinner (14 not out) finished the job.
Bathurst won’t be too concerned by the result considering it mirrors what happened during the previous WZPL season in 2015-16.
The Bathurst men lost their opening match of the competition against Dubbo on that occasion as well, before bouncing back to take a memorable grand final win.