LEO STEYN blazed his way to a brilliant big hundred in the near century heat at Dick Edwards Oval on Saturday to place his North Tamworth Redbacks in a dominant position in their Tamworth first grade cricket clash with Bective-East.
The 17-year-old student smashed 15 boundaries in his 119-ball 136.
The Redbacks finished the day 9-331 in their 80 overs to be well placed against a Bective Bulls side which was looking good when Ted Alderton (1-37) snared Redbacks skipper Michael Rixon (34) to make it 3-52.
However Steyn and Kris Halloran (51) shared a 145-run fourth wicket partnership to take the game away from the Bulls.
“Leo was brilliant,” Rixon said.
“He and Kris were great.
“We were a bit shaky.
“We should have never been in that position (3-52) but they did the job and got us out of trouble.
“Kris just pushed the ones around and Leo was brilliant.
“That was one of the best innings I’ve seen in Tamworth for a long while.”
Halloran admitted he might have returned to the field too soon after injuring his right shoulder playing rugby union for Barraba in the off-season.
“I just pushed the ones around and watched Leo bat,” Halloran said.
That was extraordinary and delightful, he added.
For Steyn it was a satisfying day.
“My first couple of balls I was a bit shaky,” the Year 11 student at McCarthy Catholic High School said.
“But then I started seeing them well.
“And we had a good partnership – Krisso batted real well.
“It’s my first ton in first grade too.
“I played for City United last year but come over to North this year.
“That’s my third game for them. I love it here – they are a good bunch of blokes.”
While Steyn hammered the Redbacks into a dominant position, he also had some help from the lower middle order, with Joey Holt smacking 41 off 37 balls and Hamish Batley (15) and wicketkeeper Jack Cameron (12no) also ensuring the total swelled past 300 and the four-an-over rate.
Bective had plenty of toilers, with 54-year-old spinner Greg Kellett completing 22 overs and snaring 4-88.
Jarrad Abra (1-46 off 14), Kahlan Duncan (0-38) and Alderton also worked hard, with Alderton also bowling five maidens in his 12 overs of left- arm medium pace.