HAMISH Batley had never scored a best and fairest point in two years of first grade cricket.
Now he has three to his name after he was the hero for North Tamworth in its 27-run win over West Tamworth on Saturday.
The 17-year-old allrounder came in when the Redbacks were almost dead and buried at 6-19 and, with Mitch Holt, turned the game around.
He smashed 84 from 72 balls, his best score in first grade, to allow North to set 8-162.
“I just try to take my opportunities,” Batley said.
“I just want to do what I can for the team.”
What he did was invaluable in the context of this game.
In one over he even managed to hit 34 runs, including five sixes and a four.
That is quite a remarkable feat in any game but he didn’t give it a second thought.
“I was just happy to get any boundaries I could,” he said.
Batley also took a wicket and two catches as West was rolled for 135.
Perhaps his form can be attributed to plenty of practice.
He lives next door to a set of nets at Monk Park at Calala and he and his bowling machine have spent many an hour on the hole-ridden synthetic matting.
West skipper Tim Kensell scored two points for his four-wicket haul while Holt also claimed two wickets to go with his 39 runs to earn him one point.
The two points enabled Kensell to join South Tamworth’s Josh Crowe at the top of the B&F Table on 11 points.
Adam Jones’s one point in his side’s 56-run win over Old Boys took him to 10 points, one behind the leaders and four above fourth-placed Leo Steyn.
Jones’s Bulls teammate, Matt Everett, polled the three points in the Bective-Old Boys game, the 16-year-old keeper smacking 68 from 90 balls and posting an 86-run partnership with Jones to rescue the Bulls.
“That was good. I’m trying my best to help out,” Everett said after Saturday’s win.
“It’s been a good move (from South to Bective).
“My batting is definitely improving and I’m keeping well too, so it has paid off.”
Injury has been the Oxley High School Year 10 student’s biggest worry.
He’s just overcome a wrist problem only to suffer a left knee injury.
“The physios love me,” he joked. “But it hasn’t stopped me playing so far.”
He’s also been scoring runs in the McDonald’s TPL T20.
“That’s been good practice for Saturday and rep cricket,” he said.
Like Batley, Saturday’s three points were his first for the season.
City United bowler Jack McVey also mirrored that when he nabbed his first B&F points in his side’s upset win over South Tamworth.
It also included a hat trick. (see tomorrow’s Leader for more).