Spare a thought for Werribee captain Tim O’Brien, who spent most of Saturday’s hot afternoon sweating it out in his pads – on the sidelines.
Then have a think about how tough it must have been for the Hoppers Crossing players chasing the red ball to all points of Chirnside Park in the heat.
All the suffering was thanks to brothers Matt and Shaun Dean.
As the Saturday temperatures hit the high 30s, they must have been licking their lips at the potential of a long day at the crease.
When their second-wicket partnership was snapped after three hours and 43 minutes, the Tigers were in a dominant position at 2-168, setting the foundation for Werribee’s huge total of 7-294 off 80 overs.
“I was certainly in my pads for a long time,” O’Brien said with a laugh.
“They batted very smartly and built a really good partnership.
“It was a wicket where once you got yourself in, you could score big runs.”
Matt Dean is having a summer to remember.
The left-handed opener brought up his third century of the season, finishing with 103 off 184 balls, including 11 fours and a six.
Dean is third in the competition’s runs aggregate with 489, but only because he has played four less games than the players above him.
A true reflection of his dominance can be found in a league-best average of 81.50.
“He’s having a stellar season,” O’Brien said. “Once he gets himself in, he cashes in, which is great reward for him and the team.
“He’s very disciplined, he knows his game back to front and he’s very fit, so he can bat time.
“It has to take a good ball to get him out because his technique is so good.”
Shaun Dean probably needed a big score after a quiet patch since returning from the mid-season break.
His 77 off 161 was his top score for the summer and represents a warning to bowlers with finals around the corner.
“Shaun’s knock was fantastic, too, to get him back in the big runs,” O’Brien said.
“We knew he wasn’t far off. It was about him batting time in the middle … he got through today and was able to take advantage.”
James Freeman provided a valuable 44 in the middle order, while Matthew Harmer
delivered his top score for the season with 45 not out.
Werribee’s runs came against a Hoppers Crossing side that prides itself on its strong bowling.
The Cats toiled hard, but were always at the mercy of the tough conditions and an unforgiving Werribee batting line-up.
Greg Kennedy was the pick of the Cats’ bowlers with 3-72 off 18 overs.
Werribee will head into the second day with confidence.
“Anything over 250 at Chirnside Park is pretty hard to chase down,” O’Brien said.
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