A Blake Dean masterclass has sent a warning shot to Western District's Douglas Cup rivals, with the batsman-coach turning back the clock to notch a 180-haul.
Dean and fellow Bathurst-native Nic Broes (68) combined for an impressive 251-run partnership at Jamison Oval on Saturday, helping set North Canberra-Gungahlin a first-innings target of 375.
It's believed to be one of Western District's highest first-wicket partnerships in club history.
The 33-year-old fell short of a double century when he was caught out by Harrison Jones, with Siddamarakkalage De Silva taking his first of seven wickets for the innings.
Mid-order batsman Matt Condon (9) had nothing but praise for his coach, who hit 28 boundaries (20 fours and eight sixes) along the way.
"It was pretty impressive to watch, he's like a fine red and gets better with age," Condon said.
"The more he goes on, the more experience he has. I think he's getting better and better.
"Nic played a crucial role in that partnership. It's a very tough role to play when someone is whacking it at the other end. I think he showed a lot of maturity."
They kept North Canberra-Gungahlin to 3-54 at stumps, with Josh Corbett claiming two wickets within the first four overs.
Broes chipped in with the ball as well, claiming the crucial wicket of De Silva for 33, who was just starting to build some momentum with the bat as stumps approached.
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Western Districts will look to claim a 10-point victory next weekend, with bowler Scott Murn to boost their bid when he returns from representative duty.
"The overall goal is to try and get an outright win," batsman Callum Taylor said.
"There's a couple of other really strong teams in the competition with Weston Creek and Tuggeranong, among others. It's really important to get off to a good start in the two-day competition.
"We'll do all we can next week to chase an outright win and play aggressive cricket. We'll see how we go."
Dean has made an exceptional start to his season, with scores of 37 and 58 prior to this match.
That gives him an average of 91.7 for the season.
For Broes, Saturday's knock was a welcome bounce back to form after a tough start to the season.
He's hit a half century in the Royal Hotel Cup but the weekend's score was Broes' first 50-plus effort in the ACT competition for 2020-21.
Western District are yet to win a match through four rounds of the one day season but have the chance to go two from two in two day games.