Harris stars for Easts with superb all-round performance
DOUG Harris surely wrote himself into the Clarence River Cricket history books after an amazing all-round performance for GDSC Easts on Saturday.
After picking up 6-21 with the ball in Souths Services' first innings, Harris resumed his innings on 35.
He picked up exactly where he left off, tormenting the bowlers on his way to an unbeaten 150.
Harris said the two weeks couldn't have gone any better.
"They're pretty handy stats, I won't complain," he said.
"When I was bowling in the first innings the ball was helped a lot by the pitch.
"It had a bit of variable bounce in it which made it tougher for the batsmen to get a hold of."
Harris only returned to Easts three weeks ago after spending three years in England where he played Counties League cricket for Elmstead.
After a performance like his, it's understandable why Easts captain Tim Whalan was happy to loosen the shackles.
"Dougie was unbelievable out there," Whalan said.
"He barely played any bad shots, it was great to watch."
Harris hit 14 fours and five sixes on his way to the first century of the CRCA season, but was lucky to survive a nervous moment when he was on 99.
"That was my first bad hit of the day," Harris said.
"I swung a little bit too hard and it grabbed an edge and went up.
"I thought it was going to be all over but it just cleared the fielder."
His 150 was brought up in much different circumstances, after Harris found the fence for the 14th time in his innings.
It ended up being the last ball of Easts' innings, Whalan declaring at 8-293.
"We let him go for the 150 and decided we'd go for the outright," Whalan said.
"To their credit, Souths batted well and held us out."
It was a tough day at the office for Souths, who trailed by 171 at the start of their second innings.
Captain Tom Kroehnert said his team batted well to avoid the outright defeat.
"A lot of things didn't go our way but the boys really dug in in the second innings," Kroehnert said.
"We didn't bowl too well to start the day and Dougie punished us.
"But the boys held out really well to stop Easts getting the outright."
Brendan Cleaver led the way for Souths, unbeaten on 98 at the close of play.
Kroehnert, while not happy with his team's overall performance, was glad to avoid outright defeat.
"It could've been better but it could've been much worse," Kroehnert said.
"At the end of the day we need to work on our bowling a bit more and be more consistent."
Easts now find themselves in unfamiliar teritory heading into their first bye of the season, sitting alone on top of the CRCA Premier League table.
Whalan said it was the first time in a long time they'd been top, adding that his team would take a lot of confidence from their strong start.
"The boys have put in well this year and we'll all get a lift out of the success so far," he said.
"We've got the bye now so the guys can recharge and then we'll be back to try and make sure we can keep up the good form."