Last season John Krauss was more interested in having a beer with his mates than wielding the willow.
But then his old club Delungra reformed after five seasons in the wilderness, and the 28-year-old morphed into a run-scoring machine – his season to remember epitomised by the 300 not out he scored in a one-dayer against Tingha on December 1. In doing so, he broke a 64-year-old record.
Yes, that’s right: Krauss – a married father of two who toils under the blazing sun running a building company – posted an unbeaten triple century in one day!
It is the highest score in top-grade Inverell cricket, surpassing the previous record – 261 not out by Sedley Marchant in the 1953-54 season, according to Les Eastaway, who is compiling a history of Inverell cricket.
Krauss also posted the highest score in Inverell district cricket, bettering John Saunders’ 274 scored in second grade in 1984-85.
It gets better: Krauss has also scored two centuries and two half-centuries this season in seven innings, including 147 not out in his last match, against Staggy Creek, on December 15.
All up he has scored 728 runs at an average of 182, propelling Delungra to second spot on the ladder.
The Tingha-raised cricketer, who made his first-grade debut at “about 17”, had a previous highest score of 156. He said the main motivation on the day he almost doubled that mark, on a synthetic wicket at Delungra’s small home ground, was getting the chance to face his younger brother, Kyle.
“I sort of wanted to bat all day, I’m guessing,” he said, adding: “I usually play cricket with him.”
Krauss, who top-scored (43) for Inverell in their War Veterans Cup loss to Tamworth on Sunday, said he “had no interest in cricket” for awhile. “I was only there to drink beer, more or less, than sort of play cricket.
“I had a pretty disappointing year last year … I was building a new house [in Tingha for Kyle]. I sort of had no interest in it [cricket]. All I was doing was working a fair bit, and was only playing every second or third game.”
With the house completed and Delungra Cricket Club reformed, Krauss decided to get serious about cricket again. (In the 2016-17 season, he scored 423 runs, at an average of 52.88, playing for Staggy Creek.)
“If I could have scored two or three hundreds in the year, that would have been fine,” he said. “Scoring 300 and another 147 not out and another 100 at the start of the season, yeah, it’s been pretty good.”
On the day Krauss scored 300, Delungra made 4-445 and Tingha were then dismissed for 242.
Krauss is married to Sophie, and they have two children, Chelsea, 7, and Lachlan, 6.