EAST Albury’s star recruit James McNeil has shown he will be a force to be reckoned after the opening round of Provincial cricket.
Batting at No. 3 and called to the crease with just six runs on the board, the former University NSW player toughed out 48 runs at Birallee Oval.
In the end the Crows finished at 7-204 from their 50 overs with starts to opener Hayden Coulson (25) and a quick-fire innings from Kris Milosta (29) at the end that included a six and two fours.
It was too big a target for the under-manned Wodonga Raiders who struggled to 6-109 from their 50 overs.
Captain Joel Shepherd said it was a tricky wicket to bat on.
“We looked at it and thought it might get worse as the day went on but it actually got better,” he said.
“But our batting was good we were 1-75 and the batted out the 50 overs strongly.
“It was a little disappointing but they didn’t chase the target at all — they decided to just bat out the 50 overs.
“But we can only take the positives from the game and that was the batting held up, our fielding was good including a great catch from Cameron White at square leg.
“We will take the points and head into the next clash with North Albury, who are at about the same stage as us and will give us a better indication of how our season might pan out.”
Tallangatta, meanwhile, also started its season emphatically with big scores to captain Mat Armstrong (90 not out) and three-time Border cricketer of the year Andrew Lade (60).
But Armstrong said it was the performance with the ball that was just as impressive.
Sam Stephens, fresh from a summer of cricket in England, at one stage with 2-0 off five overs, eventually finishing with 3-15 off his 10-over spell.
“He has certainly picked up a yard in pace and he was the only one from both sides who was able to get the ball to move,” Armstrong said.
“The Platypus balls aren’t great for movement but he was able to get it going through his 10 overs.”
Armstrong said he was unaware that he was closing in on a century as he batted out the 50 overs.
“I came to the wicket at 3/24 off about 10 overs and the pitch was a little slower than normal,” he said.