Brierly-Christ Church batsman Nathan Murphy makes strong start to 2017-18 WDCA season

IN FORM: Brierly-Christ Church top-order bat Nathan Murphy is in red-hot form and smashed an unbeaten 166 against East Warrnambool-YCW on Saturday.
IN FORM: Brierly-Christ Church top-order bat Nathan Murphy is in red-hot form and smashed an unbeaten 166 against East Warrnambool-YCW on Saturday.

NATHAN Murphy just hopes his red-hot form won’t be stymied by a rare weekend off.

The Brierly-Christ Church star batsman posted an incredible 166 not out against East Warrnambool-YCW on Saturday, but along with brother and captain Mark, and the siblings’ cousin Shane, will be missing from the line-up as the Bulls take on Russells Creek this weekend.

“It’s my brother Aaron’s wedding – it’s unfortunate he couldn’t get married during the footy season,” Murphy laughed.

“It’ll be the first game I’ve missed in about 10 years and it happens when I’m in good form.

“The pro is I get to sit on 166 not out for another week, but the con is I don’t get to add any more runs to the tally.”

Across three Twenty20s and one one-day match to start this summer, Murphy has made 284 runs, with three ‘not outs’ in his total.

He had a day out against the Broncos last week as well, smashing an unbeaten 63 in the shortest format of the game.

Murphy stepped down from the Bulls’ captaincy last summer, paving the way for younger brother Mark to lead on his return to their family’s club.

If his early season form is anything to go by, the elder Murphy is relishing his new-found freedom and reaping the rewards with his cricket.

“I’m just enjoying not having any responsibilities (with the leadership),” Murphy said. “It’s helping my lifestyle and it’s helping in my sport as well.

“I’m just enjoying playing, enjoying running around the boundary and not having to worry about bowling changes.”

Murphy credited his form to being “a little bit fitter”, which has helped his running between the wickets, and greater concentration at the crease.

Brierly-Christ Church has been the early bolter in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association, one of four teams with an unblemished start to the summer, but they comfortably lead he race for team average.

“We understand we haven’t achieved anything yet, but it’s a solid base to build from,” Murphy said.