Openers laying perfect platform for Gracemere
OPENER Luke Johnstone scored an unbeaten 79 to help guide Gracemere to victory in Round 5 of the Capricorn Challenge on Saturday.
He and opening partner Mark O’Keeffe (59) put on an impressive 141-run partnership to lay the platform for the seven-wicket win over Rockhampton Brothers.
“It was nice to be out there and to score some runs two weeks in a row,” Johnstone said.
“I got 58 off 55 balls last week and backed it up with 79 not out this week.
“Mark and I started off pretty well, and that’s two weeks in a row we’ve put on a 100-run partnership.
“It’s good to spend some time in the middle, and it was great to get us off to a good start today, considering we were chasing 170-odd.”
Brothers batted first, finishing at 7/174 off their 40 overs.
Opener Sam Guerin top scored with 38, while Bevan Moyes made 23 and Luke Reid 20.
Gracemere’s Kris McDonald took 2/28 off eight overs, and five other bowlers took one wicket each.
In reply, Gracemere were just three wickets down when they reached Brothers total in the 36th over.
Victorious skipper Todd Harmsworth admitted he was “a little nervous” as Brothers also made a strong start with the bat.
They put on 70 runs before losing their first wicket.
“Full credit to Brothers, I thought they played the innings well, but then our openers just took it apart,” he said.
“Every time we start a game, the first thing we say to our batters is ‘none for at drinks’, and they’ve done that the last two, maybe three games.”
Harmsworth praised bowlers McDonald and Josh Hamilton and made special mention of 16-year-old medium pacer Rhett Austin who was impressive in his A-grade debut.
In Saturday’s other fixtures, The Glen beat Frenchville and Capricorn Coast Parkana were too good for Port Curtis Cavaliers.
Next week, the Premier Division T20 starts, with teams playing five rounds and a grand final before the Christmas break.