Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Hillier hundred guides Deniliquin to VB Plate zone final

Deniliquin defeated West Wyalong soundly on the weekend, to secure a spot in the zone final.

November 6, 2012 4:58am

Deniliquin has stormed through to the VB Country Plate Riverina zone final on the back of a brilliant maiden intertown ton from captain Tim Hillier.

Opening the innings after being sent in to bat by home side West Wyalong on Sunday, Hillier batted for 46 overs, carving out 15 boundaries and a six on his way to triple figures.

He and young gun Brenton Loudon (47) helped Deniliquin recover from 2/18 with a 133-run partnership.

Deniliquin posted 6/270 from its 50 overs before bowling the home side out for 171.

An ever-humble Hillier said yesterday he was just pleased to make some runs and contribute to an excellent team victory.

‘‘The DDCA hasn’t had much success (in recent years) in intertown cricket, so it’s just good to build some momentum, and the team’s got some good camaraderie going.

‘‘Everyone contributed. Brodie (Unwin) and Checkers (Scott Checkley) opened the bowling and were really sharp. They got three wickets each.

‘‘Brenton (Loudon) did a great job with the bat and Toddy (Brad Todd) came in and smacked some valuable runs.

‘‘Toddy hit two massive sixes — one over mid wicket and the other over cover.

‘‘It was a great team effort and now we play Yass in the final on December 9.’’

Deniliquin had a shaky start after Brendan Unwin (1) was clean bowled in the fourth over.

Number three Andrew Hogan lasted three overs before scary-quick speedster Ben Davies, who opens the bowling for the Riverina team, had him caught for just two.

Seventeen year-old Loudon joined Hillier at the crease and the RSL/West duo set about saving the innings with a patient 133-run stand.

They occupied the crease for 28 overs with Loudon scoring six boundaries and a six on his way to 47.

He was eventually trapped in front for 47 but had given Deniliquin a platform for its middle order to build on.

Meanwhile, at the other end, Hillier had surpassed the half century mark and offered his only chance for the innings to first slip when on 60.

The Deniliquin captain was on 81 when Loudon departed but soon found another capable partner in Brad Todd.

The pair put on 71 runs with Todd smashing 47 — including five sixes — before being trapped in front for an important cameo knock.

Hillier brought up his ton with a single in the over before Todd departed, raising his bat to his teammates in the pavilion for what was his fourth career century.

‘‘I’ve been out in the nineties five times, so to get triple figures is always nice,’’ said Hillier, who was bowled for an even 100.

‘‘The pitch and outfield were first class, nothing like we have in Deni, so you don’t mind driving three hours to bat on that kind of surface.’’

Scott Checkley helped Deniliquin to a strong total of 6/270 from its 50 overs with a swashbuckling cameo of 33 at the end. His knock included a massive half-slog six over mid wicket off Davies.

In reply, the Deniliquin bowlers always had the match in control.

Unwin had a wicket in his first and fourth overs, while Checkley snared a wicket in his second over and another two scalps in his fourth.

West Wyalong was in deep trouble at 6/37 after 10 overs.

It took a fine knock from captain Davies to rescue his side’s innings from total disaster. After being dropped on five in first slip by Brendan Unwin off his brother Brodie’s bowling, Davies went on to score 84 runs, an innings including 13 boundaries.

Paceman Loudon, who finished with 2/8 off two overs, eventually had the West Wyalong skipper caught.

The home side was bowled out for 171 in the 39th over.

Brodie Unwin was the pick of the DDCA bowlers with 3/31 from 10 overs, while Checkley was equally as impressive with 3/21 from seven overs.

‘‘I was really pleased with our performance, especially after having two blokes pull out of the team on Friday,’’ Hillier said.

‘‘We had Brodie (Bennett) and Trev (Briggs) pull out, so Matt Robinson and Chris Pyle put their hands up to come on the trip. We really appreciated them making the effort.’’

Hillier expects the VB Plate final to be played at a neutral ground, most likely in Wagga. The VB Country Plate is a knockout 50-over competition.

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