BRUTAL: Hamilton-Wickham all-rounder Sam Webber.THE last time Sam Webber played at Harker Oval the Hamilton-Wickham all-rounder played one of the most brutal innings ever seen in Newcastle district cricket.
In what was the highest score in a 50-over match, Webber blasted 175 from 104 balls on November 19 against Western Suburbs, which included seven fours and an incredible 15 sixes.
Tomorrow Webber returns to the New Lambton ground for the opening Twenty20 game of the season against Wests.
The Rosellas can expect more fireworks if Webber is not dismissed early.
‘‘Ever since I’ve been at Hamwicks we’ve played aggressive cricket; tried to take wickets and score plenty of runs, whereas some other teams are a bit negative,’’ Webber said.
‘‘We’re always positive in our approach and we’ll take that into the T20. Everyone can hit sixes, so it should be good fun.’’
In recent seasons Webber have been a regular among the competition’s leading wicket-takers and he sits equal third this summer on 18 scalps.
But his batting heroics have ensured he is the leading run-scorer on 383 at an average of 76.60.
However, Merewether captain Simon Moore is only 51 runs behind and has played four less innings.
‘‘It’s surprising me as well. I’ve been coming in at the right time,’’ Webber said.
‘‘The boys at the top of the order have been doing the hard work and when the pitch is flat and the ball isn’t swinging I’ve come in.’’
Firstly Hamwicks will be eager to defend their 232 at Passmore Oval in the second week of the two-day match against Wallsend today.
The Tigers will resume at 0-16 and will be relying on their in-form batsmen Brett Jackson and Joe Curk to lead the chase.
Hamwicks welcome back quick Andrew Maher from NSW Country training to spearhead a quality attack.
A top two spot leading into the Christmas break is available to the winner.
At Cahill Oval in the top-of-the-table clash, Merewether will be hoping their Bush Blues stars Moore, Troy Goodwin, Kaine Harmsworth and Pat Darwen can rescue the side from a looming outright defeat to Belmont.
The Lions are 3-46 in the second innings, still two runs behind Belmont.
Wests (9-236) are in a dominant position at Cardiff Oval against the struggling Cardiff-Boolaroo. Stockton-Raymond Terrace (0-16) are still 33 runs behind Newcastle City at Lynn Oval in their second innings and will need a quality fightback to avoid an outright loss.
At No.1 Sportsground, Charlestown (5-200) lead Waratah-Mayfield by 101 runs and are likely to declare early in order to play for an outright win and Toronto (7-100) are chasing University’s 181 at Ron Hill Oval.
In other T20 games tomorrow, University open their campaign for a hat-trick of titles against Waratah at University Oval, Belmont host City at Cahill Oval, Stockton are home at Lynn Oval against Merewether, Wallsend play Cardiff at Wallsend Oval and Toronto face Charlestown at Ron Hill Oval.