Vital captain's knock helps Gold put Nambour on the ropes
CRICKET: A revitalised Gympie Gold XI are in the box seat for a smashing start to the new Sunshine Coast Cricket Association season after dealing multiple heavy blows to Nambour away from home over the weekend.
Gympie posted a strong first innings score of 270 at the Showgrounds after skipper and opener Lewis Waugh dug in for a pivotal knock of 73 runs from 158 balls, while young gun Leo Cartwright got on the front foot for a swashbuckling 81 from just 74 deliveries.
The pair combined to put on a vital 126 runs for the fifth wicket, ensuring Gympie sent the Cutters in with a healthy total to defend.
Waugh unleashed opening bowlers Brycen Mitchell and Andre Cave for all but one of the remaining 12 overs and it was the latter who struck, dismissing Trent Riddell for just 5 and putting Nambour on the ropes at 1/9 by stumps.
The captain said he was pleased with his side's efforts to open the season on a positive note.
"It was a really good start, a few of the boys probably haven't played a lot of cricket yet and we had a few fill-ins, and we were able to end up in an almost perfect scenario,” Waugh said.
"With the way the two-day format works, if you can get a first innings score anywhere between what we got (270) and 300, send them in late a jag a wicket or two it really puts them on the back foot.
"Our guys bowled really well. We were probably unlucky not to get a couple of wickets there.”
Waugh said he felt comfortable opening the innings to cover for the missing Steven Brady, while lauding the contributions of his batting partner.
"I'll probably bat at number three this season, but coming in I wanted to focus on facing a lot of balls and playing my natural game.
"I've always been that sort of batsman, I like facing the new ball. Once I get my eye in I do look to play my shots and play a positive brand of cricket.
"(Leo) was really good, he has a very attacking style and doesn't feel any sort of pressure at the crease. He did his job early to help build the innings, and then he really went on with it.”
Waugh said he was confident the Gold's bowling attack could finish the job when play resumes this Saturday to see them secure a season-opening win before their first home game against Caloundra on October 19.
PROGRESS SCORE: Gympie Gold XI 270 (L.Cartwright 81, L.Waugh 73, A.Cave 41) leads Nambour 1/9 (A.Cave 5-3-6-1).