WHO is the most destructive batsman in the Bathurst District Cricket Association's first grade competition?
There's a host of players who could lay claim to that title, indeed each club could nominate two or three worthy recipients.
Perhaps that question would be best answered after the Twenty20 portion of the season, especially given some of the shots played over the opening four games last Saturday.
Already there have been 20 sixes and 82 boundaries hit.
This Saturday will see competition leaders City Colts play a double-header against St Pat's Old Boys and Rugby Union, while Centennials Bulls square off with Bathurst City then the Saints.
Which batsmen prove to be the destroyers remains to be seen, but here are some of the candidates.
ST PAT'S OLD BOYS
THEY’VE got the big Bens, but watch out for Connor Slattery.
In the Saints' triumphant double-header last Saturday there were four players who cleared the boundary rope - skipper Adam Ryan, opener Nic Broes, Ben Parsons and Josh Wilcox.
As the Saints beat Rugby and then Bathurst City, Broes scored 48 of his combined total of 57 runs in boundaries and sixes.
But it is Parsons, who notched up six boundaries and cleared the rope four times in that opening double-header, Slattery and Ben Mitchell who Ryan feels would be the Saints’ biggest hitters.
“Ben Parsons has got long levers, obviously Ben Mitchell as well can go big, but the one I’m really looking forward to watching, who can hit a ball as he’s matured now is Connor Slattery,” the captain said.
“It’s got to be between Connor and those other two. He’s got a dynamic pull shot and when he gets it right, it’s bigger than anyone else I think.
“I think if I look the scorebook, Connor has hit the most sixes out of anyone at our club this year. He was away last week so missed his chance then.”
DEFENDING premiers Rugby Union did not get the start it had hoped for in the Twenty20 portion of the competition with twin defeats last Saturday.
Things don’t get any easier in round three with injuries and unavailabilities meaning Rugby will have a different-look side to face City Colts.
Aidan McBurney and Brenden Pallier come back into the side and will play an important role with the ball, but when it comes to batting Tyler Horton shapes as a key.
Horton provided the highlight last Saturday with an unbeaten 66 against the Bulls. While only clearing the rope once, he did crack 24 runs in boundaries.
It should also be remembered he scored 111 off 50 balls three summers ago in the informal Monday night T20 competition.
“Tyler, Immy [Imran Qureshi] and Alby [Chris Albon] can all hit big runs,” Rugby captain Sam Macpherson, who is out this Saturday, said.
“Tyler can hit the longest ball, once he gets going he hits it pretty big for a small fella. He has very good timing. Imran can hit them from the get-go too.”
BATHURST City’s start to the Twenty20 rounds was the equivalent of telling your child they were going to Disneyland then taking them to the dentist.
Redbacks were at their explosive best in a big nine-wicket win over City Colts to start their day, led by an unbeaten 90 by Ben Orme.
Then it came apart in the following game against St Pat’s Old Boys as they fell more than 100 runs short of the Saints’ 161 total. Redbacks’ opening three batsmen scored just four runs between them.
Their results are a testament to how quickly a couple of wickets can turn around a game of Twenty20 cricket. What it also showed was that if you give Orme an inch he’ll take a mile.
“Ormey’s still hitting it as good as I’ve ever seen. Some of the ones he was putting over the fence on the weekend were pretty good. There were a few big ones,” Redbacks captain Joey Coughlan said.
“Matty Willis filled in for us on the weekend and he still looks pretty good. We’ve got a couple of blokes in our side who can him them a long way.”
THEIR only BDCA Twenty20 game last Saturday was a loss and it’s left City Colts determined to make amends this round.
And it’s not like they are short on the batting power required to make it happen.
Henry Shoemark and Craig Berry makes for a formidable pair of Twenty20 openers and they have the likes of Wayne and Dave Sellers, Jaden Ekert and Dave Giorgio to follow.
Wayne Sellers put forward Ekert as one of Colts’ best big hitters of the season so far.
“You’d have to go with Ormey. Jaydo’s been smacking them a bit too. Josh Toole would be up there, when he’s playing,” he said.
“This is the way the game’s going now so we’ve got to get some hours up in T20. Everywhere else you’re going now it’s a part of their competitions.”
Colts and Bathurst City sit level at the top of the table heading into this round.
THEY’RE off the mark and they’re capable of improving further.
Centennials Bulls can count themselves unfortunate to be sitting last on the Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade ladder but, with four more games of Twenty20 to come, their team of big strikers can thrust their team back in the finals mix.
Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here.
Their eight wicket win over Rugby Union gives the team a welcome boost going into their next round of games this Saturday.
Bulls captain Andrew Brown believes his side is home to one of the competition’s biggest hitters – Ryan Gurney.
“He got his century on Saturday. All his sixes were to the long boundary as well. He was clearing them by five or six metres easily and hitting them all over the park,” he said.
“From other teams I’d have to say Henry Shoemark and Ben Orme are the two biggest hitters I can think of.”