YARRAWONGA-Mulwala star Daniel Athanitis swapped his devastating bowling form for the willow on Saturday, smashing 139 against Wangaratta Magpies.
Athanitis took control at the weekend, belting 16 fours and a six against the competition struggler.
The all-rounder has taken 24 wickets for the season, including hauls of seven and six in the Lakers’ past two outings but finally found touch with the bat.
Lakers’ skipper Lee Fraser said Athanitis had undoubtedly been given a confidence boost by his recent form with the ball.
“His batting probably hasn’t been great for most of the year but a player of his class was always going to come good,” Fraser said.
“His bowling has obviously been really good the past few weeks and it’s given him a real confidence boost.
“It was only a matter of time before he made a big score.”
Athanitis set up the ladder leader in a big way, with his knock steering the premiership favourite to a more than competitive total of 8-306 at home.
Fraser was more than happy with that effort.
“It’s a good score in any form,” he said.
“We really needed someone to get off to a start and really take responsibility for the innings from there.
“Daniel did that.
“He worked hard for his first 50 and it was always going to be hard to keep him down after that.”
The Lakers’ skipper, who made a duck on Saturday, said while the club had put itself in the box seat the job was far from done on a batting-friendly pitch at Hargreaves Oval.
“It’s a good wicket so we need to put the pressure on early next week,” Fraser said.
“Early wickets will be really important.”
In other games on Saturday, Myrtleford’s Max Rampling was left stranded in the 90s as the Saints were bowled out 283 against City Colts.
Colts are 0-6 in reply.
Beechworth looks all but home and hosed against Corowa.
The Wanderers rolled the hosts for just 119 on Saturday and are 1-117 in reply.
Kayde (55) and Brenton Surrey (44) are at the crease.
Elsewhere, Bruck and Whorouly-Gapsted look to have the upper hand after day one in their respective matches against Greta and Rovers United.