Sunshine skipper Troy Stone has taken to bowling attacks all summer without saluting for what he calls “a big one”.
Stone finally landed the century he desired in emphatic style in the Crows 124-run shellacking of Werribee Centrals in the Victorian Turf Cricket Association division 2 at Dempster Park on Saturday.
Stone produced an entertaining 128 off just 107 balls to lead the premiership-contending Crows to victory in the first up game in the new year.
“It was good to go on and get a ton,” Stone said. “I’ve made four 50s this year and I finally got a big one.
“Hopefully it’s the first of a couple.” Sunshine was always going to be tough to catch after posting 8-209 off 40 overs.
The Crows score was built on rock solid foundations through a 129-run opening stand between Stone and Sam Magnano.
Magnano was the more patient of the combination, turning over the strike to Stone and providing valuable support.
“He just does the job week in week out,” Stone said. “He’s one of many that I can rely on.
“He’s the glue up the top. “He went out when I was on 99 and I would’ve liked him to be there when I reached 100.
“It’s those support roles that take a little bit of pressure off.”
Asela Aluthge (20), Charith Fernando (11) and Sumeth Chandima (10) also chipped in for Sunshine, but the Werribee Centrals bowlers made it tough late in the innings.
“We kept accelerating, but credit to them, they bowled really well at the end and we lost a few wickets,” Stone said.
Sunshine took its time in getting the first Werribee Centrals wicket, but once they did, it created a domino effect.
The breakthrough for the Crows came through spinner Chandima, who took the all-important wicket that broke up the Centrals openers.
Chandima finished with an economical 1-15 off eight. Sunshine’s main weapon was another spinner, Ruwan Jayaweera.
The Centrals’ batsmen had no answer to Jayaweera, who finished with 5-15 off eight.
Sunshine is part of a two-team breakaway at the top of the ladder, sitting six points back from ladder leader Newport-Digman and 12 points clear of the chasing pack.
The Crows will face relegation-threatened Keilor Park in a one-day game at Dempster Park this Saturday, an opponent that Stone remains wary of.
In senior division, St Albans cruised to a seven-wicket win over Sunshine United at Selwyn Park.
Set 139 for victory, the Saints got there in the 33rd over, led by half centuries from Simon Lambert and Arosh Janoda. Lance Jen