Injury mars Mayer-inspired Belmont
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In-form batsman Elliott Mayer carried his bat for a magnificent maiden century in a game marred by a nasty injury to an Edmonton player.
In sunny conditions, BECC captain Adam Jacobs once again won the toss and decided to bat on a belter of a pitch. Openers Phil and Elliott Mayer resumed their opening partnership and looked to score quickly from the off.
After being dropped by the wicketkeeper whilst on four, Elliott, who hit 88 not out last week, grew in confidence and ruthlessly dispatched anything pitched short or wide. Phil, meanwhile, looked in good touch and clubbed a number of boundaries, including a big 6 over square leg. The pair put on 46 for the first wicket before Phil missed a straight one and was bowled for 21.
This brought no. 3 Jacobs to the crease, who, in partnership with Elliott, began to exert some serious pressure on Edmonton's fielding efforts. Aided by some defensive field placings, the two ran hard between the wickets and frustrated the bowlers by regularly rotating the strike. Both accumulated steadily during the middle overs but became increasingly expansive as the end of the innings approached.
Mayer, in particular, hit some crisp shots off the back foot to the fence whilst Jacobs used his feet to the spinners to manoeuvre the ball into the gaps. The two put on 110 before Jacobs was run out off a direct hit, just short of his half century, after calling Mayer through for one quick single too many.
With overs running out, Michael Blasebalk tried to hit out but was the unfortunate recipient of the one ball that kept low throughout Belmont's innings. He was bowled for 3, but Mitchell Mayer, promoted up the order to no 5, was able to retain momentum with some clean striking.
Nonetheless, this became a mere side-plot, as Elliott reached 99 with an over remaining. Despite Mitchell's best attempts to deny him the strike, Elliott managed to cajol his brother to remain at the other end and brought up a wonderful century with a nudged single into the covers. The batsman held his arms aloft as he received the acclaim of his teammates and the opposition before receiving a hug from proud father Phil.
After the action resumed, Mitchell hit another couple of boundaries to finish on 24 off 15 balls, a highly effective cameo, with Belmont closing on a competitive 216-3 off their 35 overs.
After a quick tea, Belmont came out to field optimistic that they could defend their total. Opening bowlers Jacobs and Greg Mayer, who once again served notice of his bowling talent, both induced a number of false shots from Edmonton's batsmen.
However, after just four overs of the innings, the game was brought to an early and unfortunate end. During a routine quick single, one of the openers took a nasty tumble as he struggled to make his ground and was unable to get back up. After a protracted delay it became evident that the stricken player's injury was serious and an ambulance was called. Sensibly, both teams agreed to end the game at that point and call it a draw. It has subsequently emerged that the player has broken his hip.
This was a sad end to what had, up until that point, been an enjoyable day out for Belmont. I'm sure that we all wish the injured player a speedy recovery. Notwithstanding this, once again Belmont produced a highly encouraging batting performance; the highlight of which was, of course, Elliott Mayer's brilliant knock. With several younger players demonstrating considerable improvement this season, the future looks bright for Belmont.