BLAKE Dean had already been enjoying a top summer for Western District, but on Saturday it got even better as he notched up the ninth century of his ACT Premier Cricket career.
Opening the batting for the team he also coaches, Dean belted 132 runs from 150 deliveries. It was an effort which ranks as the competition's highest first grade score so far in season 2019-20.
It also added to what has an impressive decade for Dean in the ACT.
It was 10 years ago that the former Rugby Union Cricket Club all-rounder and Bathurst District representative got his first taste of the ACT Premier Cricket competition when joining older brother Jono at Queanbeyan.
Dean went on to win four titles with Queanbeyan in 2011-12 - the two-day, one-day, SCG Cup and Twenty20 trophies - before making the move to Tuggeranong.
He played once season there, his top score being 163, before reuniting with Jono at Weston Creek in 2014-15.
Dean scored six centuries during his four seasons for Creek, including clubbing 291 in the 2017-18 semi-final. That same match his brother hit 205 and they enjoyed a 252-run stand together.
The lure of a coaching role is what drew Dean to his current club Western District, where he is now in his second summer.
His first season with them was not his greatest - he averaged 32.17 across his 13 games and his top score was 69.
READ MORE: Mitchell T20 Cup is back in Bathurst's hands
But thus far in 2019-20, Dean has been a star for the Westies.
He notched up five half centuries before Christmas, his top score being an 81 against Eastlake. That match saw him form a 109-run second wicket partnership with Jordan Smith.
On Saturday as Dean padded up for the first time in 2020, he was looking to his inspire his men in a second versus third two-day match against Queanbeyan at Freebody Oval.
He most certainly did that. Opening the batting he clubbed 10 boundaries in his knock and sent the ball sailing over the rope four times as he helped Western recover after being 2-17 early on.
By the time he finally fell for 132, Western was in a position of strength at 5-256.
On a person level, it saw Dean take his tally for the season to 504 runs at an average of 63, while impressively he has scored them at a strike rate of 110.8. It has him sitting second on the competition's leading scorer tally.
Western went on to make 309 off its 70 overs, but unfortunately the game was abandoned due to poor air quality just five overs into Queabeyan's chase on Sunday. Dean's next assignment will be a Twenty20 match on Thursday night.