EIGHT South West Cricket teams belted a collective 1817 runs in a high-scoring round of division one cricket.
Flag contenders Mortlake and Terang enjoyed days out with the willow, posting totals beyond 300 in victory, while Pomborneit and Cobden also won.
Mortlake opener Josh Barr was the main beneficiary of the hot and dry conditions, smashing an unbeaten 150 against Bookaar at D. C. Farran Oval.
The steady left-hander had just 20 on the board from as many overs but freed his arms thereafter in spectacular fashion.
His effort, and that of Clinton Baker who made 79, helped Mortlake to a comfortable eight-wicket win. The Cats made 3-301 in reply to the Pelicans’ 8-200.
Barr, 24, said he was satisfied with his big day out. But he admitted he was lucky after being dropped on the boundary when on “40 or 50”.
“I’m starting to come into a bit of form,” he said. “The last few weeks I’ve started to see the ball a bit better and find the middle. (It’s) just time at the crease,” he said.
“It’s my natural game to start slowly. I can’t hit the ball straight away. I need time at the crease to find the middle.”
Barr, who will open for SWC at Melbourne Country Week, said his 150 eclipsed his previous best score of 129 against Boorcan last season.
He said he was keen to carry the form into the representative tournament which starts today.
“Hopefully it’ll bode well,” he said. “It’s fairly different opposition, Country Week. It’ll be interesting to see how we go, I’m looking forward to it,” he said.
“I like stepping up to another level and testing myself.”
Mortlake captain Todd Lamont described Barr as a “big-game player” who had established himself as crucial to the Cats’ fortunes.
Lamont, Tyler Schafer and Baker are all natural hitters, traits which highlight the importance of the contrasting anchor role at which Barr excels.
“Especially in one-day cricket, you’ve really got to get off to a good start and keep wickets in hand,” Lamont said.
“If you can see off the new ball with your openers and have your hard-hitters come in, it certainly makes a difference.
“Josh is our anchor. He protects his wicket a lot more and lets us hard-hitting batsmen play around him.”
The Cats’ batting heroics overshadowed their admirable efforts with the ball to limit Bookaar to 200.
Simon Baker (35) and James Gellie (63) put on 90 for the second wicket and were looking dangerous. But the Pelicans lost 5-47 late in their innings. Elsewhere, Terang capitalised on batsman-friendly conditions at Boorcan to post 9-309, in reply to the Dragons’ 9-231.
Opener Jay Wynd top-scored with 78, Tom Moloney made 50 and Tom McKenzie hit 48. Matt Boyle was the best of the home side, making 57 at first drop and taking 3-12 off four overs.
Pomborneit’s top order of Craig Sargeant (43), Steve Castle (62) and David Murphy (65) all got runs as the Bulls defeated Noorat by five wickets at Pomborneit.
The Bulls made 7-277 chasing Noorat’s 9-226. Jason Moloney was the best of the visitors with 56 not out.
And Cobden showed its liking of night cricket by defeating Heytesbury Rebels in a day-night match at Cobden Recreation Reserve.
Heytesbury was all out for 118 in 48.1 overs with all seven Cobden bowlers getting among the wickets. Openers Brent Goonan (28) and Nick Harding (36) set the platform for victory while captain Leigh Walsh made 55 as Cobden finished 8-155 under lights.