Hunter returns crucial ton EYE ON THE BALL: City all-rounder Dylan Hunter on his way to an unbeaten 165. Picture: Marina Neil
GOOD SPELL: Wests paceman Tom Allen took figures of 3-55 at Harker Oval on Saturday. Picture: Marina Neil
KEY MAN: City’s Nicholas Tantos (37) featured in a crucial 114-run seventh-wicket partnership. Picture: Marina Neil
TweetFacebook NDCA: Wests v CityPictures by Marina NeilNewcastle City will take confidence into the new year following some individual brilliance from representative all-rounder Dylan Hunter on his 24th birthday.
The Sabres claimed another top-four scalpas they attempt to make finals for the first time since 2010-2011, joining defeated opponents Wests in second spot on the Newcastle District Cricket Association first gradeladder after Hunter scored a career-best 165 not out.
Batting at No.7, he struck 23 fours and four sixes in his 174-ball dig against the Rosellas at Harker Oval on Saturday, rescuing the innings from 5-44 to victory at 8-298 with a sessionto spare.
“It was incredible,” City captain Jack Downing said.
“It was one of, if not, thebest knocks I’ve seen in Newcastle cricket.
“There might have been one false shot in 165 not out.
“He was just in absolute control the whole day.
“We even needed a six to finish and he delivered.
“And when you consider how much pressure we were under being five down, it makes it even better.
“It was his birthday as well so he was in pretty good spirits.”
Downing described the win as a “great escape” with the visitors resuming at 5-46 and requiring 252runs to avoid loss number two of 2017-2018.
Hunter went ontocompilecrucial partnerships of 39, 114, 62 and 39 with City’s lower order Sam O’Sullivan (11), Nicholas Tantos (37), wicketkeeper Liam Whitehead (22) and Lewis Hextell (7 not out) respectively.
The Sabres reached the target before tea on day two of the ninth-round encounter.
“The four other guys all did a great job,” Downing said.
“We got off to a flyer and saw out the newish ball and that really set the tempo.”
It means City and Wests (47 points) are now equal on the competition standings with five two-day fixtures remaining afterChristmas.
“It was a massive result for us, especially considering the context of the ladder,” Downing said.
“Instead of being 12 points behind Wests and on the edge of the four we are in a much better spot now.
“Hopefully we can keep that momentum going in the new year.”
Right-arm quick Tom Allenwas the best for Wests with3-55 from his 16.1 overs.
The weekend before Hunter, bowling left-arm orthodox spinners, had similar figures of 3-55 off 15.5 overs.