Bathurst’s colts fire with the bat to crush Mudgee

LAST season Bathurst was denied the Mitchell Cricket Council colts crown on net run rate, but in 2018 a lack of runs does not look like an issue for the talented bunch of under 19 players.

On Sunday in their season opener against Mudgee at Victoria Park, Bathurst’s colts belted 324 against the hosts.

GOOD DAY OUT: Ben Mitchell hit 73 - his knock including 10 boundaries - before taking 2-18 against Mudgee in Sunday's colts clash.

GOOD DAY OUT: Ben Mitchell hit 73 - his knock including 10 boundaries - before taking 2-18 against Mudgee in Sunday's colts clash.

Four players – Bailey Brien (58), Ben Mitchell (73), Ben Parsons (55 not out) and Tanvir Singh (70) – notched up half centuries and set up what was a convincing 151-run win.

Bathurst’s innings included plenty of ones and twos, but they also amassed 32 fours and three sixes in their 50 overs. It was a performance that pleased coach Shane Broes.

“Obviously that win helps our net run rate if it does come into it this year. That is something we spoke about at the start of the game, that was probably the sort of total that we expected to get in those hot conditions,” he said.

“But expecting something and runs on the board are two different things.

“It was a great performance considering the heat, it didn’t quite get to 40, but it was just under.”

Mudgee did trouble Bathurst early in the contest as Western Zone representative Nic Broes fell for 12 and team-mates Sam Hall (five), Ryan Peacock (nine) and Connor Slattery (duck) – all dangerous batsmen – fell cheaply.

That saw Bathurst at 4-74, but the depth of Shane Broes’ squad soon came to the fore.

Brien and Mitchell saw the score into triple figures before the former finally departed for a well-made 58 after being stumped.

Mark Day (26) offered good support to Mitchell, before Singh and Parsons accelerated the scoring rate further in the closing overs.

“One opener fired but the rest of our top four didn’t, it was our middle and lower order that did the job for us. To hit 324 in 50 overs is pretty special,” the coach said.

“We had some good partnerships along the way, obviously Bailey [Brien] and Ben Mitchell put on 61 … that was followed by a really good partnership between Tanvir and Ben Parsons.

“We were 217 with 12 overs to go, so to put on over 100 in those last 12 overs was a fantastic effort.

“They had a good platform to work with, we had wickets in hand to work with and that was a good platform.”

In reply Mudgee opted for a defensive approach for a bulk of its innings – the almost seven runs an over it needed for victory not really given a shake – to finish its 50 overs at 8-173.

Mitchell (2-18), Parsons (2-24) and Mitch Taylor (2-21) each snagged a pair of wickets from their 10 overs, but the coach said all the attack did well as the mercury reached 39.9 degrees.

“For Tanvir and Ben [Parsons] to back up and open the bowling after putting on 121 for the eighth wicket was a good effort in those conditions, it was a good effort from Ben Mitchell too,” Broes said.

“We had a good first session, the second session wasn’t that great and the boys got a bit of a rev up.

“But to be fair, Mudgee just shut up shop, they didn’t try and chase, they just blocked up.

“We still had to bowl 50 overs and pushing into that heat, it was a good effort from our bowlers.”

Bathurst’s next game will be on January 26 when hosting Orange.