Jamie Brown’s incredible run of form continued on Saturday with the Sutherland batsman posting his third century in his last four first grade knocks.
Sutherland are in a strong position after day one of their two-day, round 11 clash with Bankstown after posting 281 before they were bowled out at Bankstown Oval.
Brown’s innings was the highlight as he made 126 from 238 balls, his patient effort including 10 boundaries and two sixes.
It continued his brilliant run of form stretching back to late last year. His 101 against Penrith in round eight was followed by 109 against North Sydney and a 91 against Randwick Petersham. Brown has already scored 600 runs in first grade this season at an average of 54.5.
Sutherland were also down on batting depth with the absence of all-rounders Ben Dwarshuis (Big Bash League) and Austin Waugh (under-19s World Cup).
Openers Jarryd Biviano (17) and captain Chris Williams (21) made starts before Brown joined Peter Saroukos (37) in a 65-run stand for the third wicket.
Tom Doyle (27) was the only other Sutherland batsman able to get going as they were bowled out in 88 overs.
That left Bankstown needing to survive six overs, with Tom Pinson getting the breakthrough the visitors were after. Pinson had Bankstown opener Ben Le Bas caught by Saroukos without scoring to have the hosts 1-15 heading into day two on Saturday, with a win for either team potentially able to see them climb to the top of the table pending results elsewhere.
At Waverley Oval, St George are 130 runs away from scoring what would be a huge win in terms of their finals aspirations against Eastern Suburbs.
The inclusion of Peter Nevill for the hosts didn’t deter Saints, with stand-in captain Nick Stapleton dismissing the former Australian Test wicketkeeper for 1.
St George ripped through Easts’ top order with Angus Robson providing the only resistance as the No.3 batsman went on to make 103 not out in his side’s total of 207.
Stapleton (3-34) and Sussex all-rounder Ollie Robinson (3-24) were the best with the ball for Saints with Matt Lacey (2-35), Luke Bartier (1-15) and Peter Francis (1-59) also among the wickets.
In reply, St George made their way to 2-78 despite losing opener Blake Macdonald (6) early on.
Stapleton made 16 at better than a run a ball before he was bowled by Tas Yazdani to leave Saints in trouble at 2-35 before Bartier (25 not out) and Jonathan Rose (29 not out) steadied the ship.
St George have named captain Trent Copeland, Moises Henriques and Kurtis Patterson to return to the side from representative duty for day two.
Play in both matches on Saturday starts at 10.30am.