HITTING 78 runs off 47 deliveries - it was a knock which not only kept ORC's hopes of qualifying for the Bonnor Cup finals alive, but demonstrated the hot form Ben Cant has found this summer.
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It's the sort of form that had ORC skipper Dave Sellers exclaiming "he's just on a different level at the moment."
This season had already delivered Cant a pair of half centuries for ORC in the Bathurst Orange Inter District Cricket competition, while in late December he crashed 118 off 123 for the city's second XI in the Rod Hartas Trophy.
On Friday night at Wade Park it was another Cant special which helped ORC to a 17-run win over Centrals in the Bonnor Cup Twenty20 clash.
When Cant joined Sellers at the crease, Centrals had them under pressure at 2-14.
Scoring was tough, but after Cant got his eye in he and his captain switched the momentum of the match.
"We started off pretty slow, I think we only got 30 or 40 from the first 10, but then we went at 12-13 an over for the last 10 and put together a pretty good score," Sellers said.
"Even we [himself and Cant] were slow at the start, it was really hard to score, so for his [Cant's] first 10 balls I don't think he scored at all. So then that 70 came off 30 or 40 balls.
"To be that calm after not getting a few away for that first 10 balls, he just said 'I can make it up later, I'm not worried', he's just a cool character.
"He hit a lot of boundaries, he hit a couple of big sixes, he hit a little lap-sweep as well and it went for four, he's just on a different level at the moment."
Sellers made 50 off 42 before falling to Kaiden Cole when trying to go big, but Cant kept the score ticking over as ORC reached 4-164. His unbeaten knock included eight boundaries and three sixes.
Sellers was confident it was a total his side could defend and, using the lessons he learned from batting first, opted for a different approach in terms of deploying bowlers.
"I thought it was a good total because it was a hard pitch to score on, we struggled at the start to score, so I thought anything over 150 would he hard to get," he said.
"We changed up how we normally go, we took a lot of pace off the ball. We actually bowled Benny Cant as well and Hamish Siegert - a lot of spin - then Wayne, my brother, bowled slow little medium pacers that were hard to get away."
While Graeme Judge (34 off 30) and Cameron Rasmussen (32 off 17) kept Centrals in the hunt, in the end they fell 17 runs short at 7-147. Wayne Sellers picked up 2-16 off his three overs, while Siegert took 2-19 off four.
The victory in Friday's last pool game added to ORC's success against Lithgow Lightning, a wash-out and loss to Cavaliers.
While the ORC captain knows his side still needs a favour in the final pool match between Bathurst City and Cavaliers to advance to the semi-finals, he's been pleased with the Tigers' efforts.
"I think we need Redbacks to beat Cavs but not much to get us in on run rate. If Cavs win they're in," he said.
"But we're pretty happy, the last time we were in Bonnor Cup as ORC we got flogged every game, like embarrassed. But we've got a couple of wins so it's been a pretty good little performance."
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