Highlands Over 60s have resumed their season with a comfortable win against Hunter Lords Taverners in the Vintage Cricket Competition.
The win follows an excellent first up Vintage League win against a very strong Northern Stars team prior to the holiday break.
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Highlands passed the visitors total of 142 with three overs to spare after Ian Bradburn, Peter Jensen and outstanding acquisition Alistair Little made their thirty runs each.
David Talbert and Allan Drummond had earlier produced fine bowling spells to limit the visitors who fielded two former Sydney 1st graders and an Australian Over 60s captain.
In the first game back after the break, hosting Hunter for the first time on Highlands home ground of Chater Oval, Highlands' skipper Gary Whitaker won the toss and batted.
Highlands were missing their two Australian representatives, Peter Jensen and Ian Bradburn, and were up against a visiting team that had also won their only other game.
They made a slow start, even Rod van Beek conceding he'd had his fair share of luck - and the fielding team clearly agreed - in an opening partnership with Fred Latham that accrued just 15 runs from nine overs.
When Latham was bowled, Whitaker joined van Beek and runs flowed more freely such that the home team was 1-60 at drinks after twenty overs.
Van Beek retired at the compulsory 30 and Mark Preddey immediately boosted the run rate with a free-flowing 30 from 35 balls.
Whitaker also retired when reaching 31 and some hard-hitting by Glyn Chivers (26 from 30 balls) and John Lindsay (22 from 12) took Highlands to a very competitive 3 for 164 when forty overs had elapsed.
Hunter made an inauspicious start when Rod Watling had opener Ian Spruce caught by Grant Lewis with just three runs on the board.
Number 3, John Rolls, then played an anchor role but received little support. He used 72 balls to make his retirement score of 31 and found the well-grassed outfield and some enthusiastic fielding limited his progress.
The last rites were administered in the 39th over when Hunter was bowled out.
Watling (2-16 from 6 overs), David Stone (2-19 from 6.3), David Wells (1-6 from 5) and man-of-the-match Mark Preddey all took wickets and bowled tightly.
The win puts Highlands on top of the competition ladder as the only team of ten to win two matches with three round games being declared draws.
Although season 2020/21 has suffered from disruptions due to the Covid 19 pandemic and the weather, there are still opportunities to get plenty of cricket completed in the back end of the season.
Four rounds remain in the Vintage League with Highlands well capable of winning against mid-table teams and a chance of bettering their runners-up place last season.
Several social matches also remain on the fixture list against ACT, Central Coast, Port Jackson and Western Widfires.
While external factors have played havoc with the Highlands extensive fixture list some members have at least been able to enjoy carnivals in Renmark and Tamworth where an over 65s/70s team was boosted by guests from ACT.
And many will be looking forward to March when Highlands will have individual players playing for other regions in the Over 70s State Championships at Port Macquarie, while Highlands are expected to again field a team in the NSW Over 60s Championships to be played in Orange.
Hopefully new recruits like Alistair Little, David Stone, Mark Coles, along with those just 60 like David Talbert and Glyn Chivers, will make themselves available to give Highlands a strong lineup and so be a chance of going one better than their two previous runners-up positions
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