Chris Sargent and Jake Brayshaw had Gunnedah in a spin as Narrabri notched a 42-run win in their War Veterans Cup clash at Collins Park on Sunday.
After both making valuable contributions with the bat as the home side posted 170, they then ripped through the middle order to roll the visitors for 128.
“They (Gunnedah) were chasing pretty well in the first session,” stand-in Narrabri skipper Nick Smart said.
“I think they only scored 33 in the second.”
That was largely on the back of Brayshaw and Sargent, the dynamic duo then reaping the reward of their toils in the final session.
Smart said it was a good start to their campaign, the fact they were without three of their main batsmen in regular skipper Lachlan Cameron, who was away on Northern Inland Bolters duties, Tom Craig and Coby Cornish making the win all the more satisfying.
Stepping up to open in Cameron’s absence, Sargent made 44 and helped set the innings up with a 78 run partnership with Smart (48).
The momentum though quickly turned Gunnedah’s way as the home side slumped to 8-113.
Enter Brayshaw (19) and Jordyn Mowle (31). They put on 44 to push the score beyond the 150/160 that Smart felt was probably par.
“It was pleasing to watch those young guys grind it out,” he said, their partnership effectively the difference in the game.
Skipper Andy Mack (3-27), Troy Sands (2-30), Brad Gander (2-29), Hayden Baker (2-22) and Sam Doubleday (1-12) shared the spoils for Gunnedah, who were then travelling well at 1-58 at first drinks after a 44 run opening stand between Mack (23) and Nick Willoughby (34).
But Sargent (2-10) and Brayshaw (4-26) really tightened things up.
Willoughby and Cameron Milne (29) held out for a while but when Sargent and Smart combined to remove Willougby it spelled the beginning of the end for Gunnedah.
Thirteen overs later they were all out Brock Schwager (2-10) claiming the final wicket.
Smart said he bowled well at the end.
“We took Sarge (Sargent) off to save him for the last six overs,” he said.
“Brock came on after drinks and bowled full and straight.”
Ryan O’Neill also bowled well early, he said, and deserved more than his 1-28.
Gunnedah rode their luck early with a few inside edges, a couple of catches not going to hand and a couple of unsuccessful lbw appeals.
Mack said he was proud of the guys that turned up for them and paid credit to Narrabri’s performance in the field.
“They bowled well, bowled nice and straight and fielded well,” he said.
That was in his opinion one of the differences in the game.
“They fielded well whereas we let them turn those one’s into twos’,” he said.