By Gavin Staindl
IT WAS a record-breaking afternoon for Ben Maroney and his Pakenham side when they eventually passed Nyora in the West Gippsland Cricket Association District division match-up.
Set 334 to win, Maroney smashed 201 not out, and with fellow opener Russ Lehman (116 not out) reached the target with 16 overs to spare and with all 10 wickets in hand.
Tonking 23 fours and three sixes on his way to 201, the captain/coach set a club record for A Grade by becoming the first player to reach a double ton.
His record-breaking opening partnership with 18-year-old Lehman is also the largest partnership in the club’s history.
“It was just a fairytale,” said Maroney.
After being sent in by the home side last week, Nyora did not waste time at the crease and with the help of Troy Ferguson (111), Nick Fairbank (80) and some important middle order scores, Nyora quickly raced to 334, the highest score by a District team this season.
Maroney was not fazed.
“I knew if two of us had a good innings we would come close (to winning) … we just needed to hang in there,” Maroney said.
And that’s exactly what happened.
On a sunny afternoon, Maroney and Lehman scored freely and were more concerned about the run chase than the chase for personal bests.
“Even when I reached 100 it was not that important, I just knew someone needed to make a big score,” Maroney said.
It was not until the final drinks break – when Pakenham had passed the 300-run mark – that Maroney took a step back.
The pair reached the required score with Maroney stranded on 199 but understanding the novelty of reaching the double ton, Nyora captain Nick Fairbank graciously stayed out in the middle until Maroney made the historic feat three overs later.
Pakenham will face Devon Meadows next week and a win will move them into the top four, well placed for finals in four rounds time.
By Gavin Staindl