HE might hail from Bathurst, but Jono Dean rates as one of the most successful batsmen in the history of the ACT Premier Cricket first grade competition.
On Saturday as the new season commenced, not only did Dean take his tally of first grade runs beyond 6,000, but he blasted his 17th century.
His 115 off 98 balls opening the batting for Weston Creek Molonglo elevated him to equal second with Lisle Maloney on the ACT list of all-time leading century scorers.
His typically aggressive knock included seven boundaries, while another seven shots travelled over the Stirling Oval ropes on the full as he guided Creek to a seven-wicket victory over Eastlake.
And to make the 123 minutes he spent at crease even more impressive, it came on the back of a shoulder reconstruction at the end of last season.
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Admittedly the former Rugby Union Cricket Club player was dropped after notching up his half century, but his captain John Rogers could not help but be impressed.
“Sometimes it’s a little bit ridiculous watching him, how easy he makes it, for a guy who’s come back from a shoulder reconstruction at the end of last year,” Rogers said.
“His first proper bat in the nets was last week, so to come out and make it look as easy as he did today just goes to show the talent of the guy.”
Eastlake batted first in Saturday’s season opener and made a handy 8-265 off its 50 overs. But Dean made sure his side took control in the run chase.
After losing fellow opener Robert Trickett early for nine, Dean and Creek number three Sam Myburgh formed a 121-run second wicket partnership. Just 21 of those came from Myburgh’s bat.
While Dean eventually fell to Lewis Harman, Creek went on to win with 19 deliveries remaining.
Dean’s knock also sent a reminder to Big Bash League teams – he is yet to re-sign with the Adelaide Strikers after five summers with them – of his talent.
“It's a real shock how no Big Bash team has him signed up just yet,” Rogers said. “Judging by the way he hit them today, you’d be nuts not to sign him up.”