Mitchell Scott has set the bar high.
The St Pat's Silverstream middle-order batsman has started the new term with a flourish, scoring two centuries and more than 300 runs in less than a week.
His run began with 103, from 69 balls, against the Wellington College second XI in the opening round of the premier youth competition on February 2.
He then backed up with 139 and 21 in the three-day traditional against St Pat's Town, before making 41 against Hutt Valley High School, in the second round of the college one-day competition, on Waitangi Day.
Scott has made his runs at a rapid rate, recording 14 fours and two sixes against Wellington College and getting his 139 in 140 balls, with 21 fours and two sixes.
"He [Scott] played really well for the [Wellington] under-17s and has carried on with that form," said Silverstream coach Ewen Thompson, who also took the under-17 side.
"He's very aggressive and likes to take the bowlers on. He's a see the ball, hit the ball guy. But his game doesn't have many technical flaws."
Scott opened for Silverstream last year but has been batting at six this year, after coming in down the order for the under-17 team. "He batted at eight for the rep side and took on a lot of responsibility in tight chases and is going nicely at six for us," Thompson said.
Scott was Wellington's leading run scorer at the under-17 tournament, though no player had more than four innings.
Scott scored 173 runs, including 63 not out in the two-day match against Auckland and 55 not in the one-day match against Central Districts. His lowest score was 21 and the two not outs boosted his tournament average to 86.5.
It was his first appearance at a rep level since the under-13 age group. "It was a different level of cricket and I learnt quite a lot."
Scott, who has also played some senior cricket for Upper Hutt this summer, gives much of the credit for his form to Thompson. "He's given me more confidence and encouraged me to trust my game."
Scott, a year 13, scored a couple of centuries in year 9 but till this month had not scored a century for the first XI.
He does not confine his sporting interests to cricket and has been in the hockey first XI at Silverstream from year 9.
Silverstream, who lost just two players from their 2013 squad, have begun the premier one cricket competition with two crushing wins and might be the benchmark team this year.
They scored 302 against the Wellington College second XI, who were dismissed for 94, and scored 234 against Hutt Valley, who lasted just 22 overs when making 61 in reply.
Ken Tuffin, who scored 93 in the traditional against Town and 70 against Hutt Valley, will be a key player for Silverstream, with the bat and ball, and the squad has a trio of off-spinners in Ben Murrow, Zac Brodie and Peter Aitken.
Silverstream play Scots this weekend and Hutt International have a key game against the Wellington College first XI.
HIBS, who thumped Wellington College in the one day final in December, will be strong again and leading batsmen Troy Johnson and Ollie Flemmer, both Wellington under-19 reps, have already recorded centuries this term.
Wellington College might not have the same weight of expectations as in past years and lost their opening match, in a shortened game against Onslow, but had five players in the Wellington under-17 team and will be tough to beat again.
Onslow, who play the Wellington second XI on Saturday, have a good bowling attack and are also unbeaten after two rounds, while Tawa, who have returned to the premier grade at the expense of St Pat's Town, meet Hutt Valley this weekend.
PREMIER ONE SQUADS
Hutt International: Troy Johnson (captain), Talor Hammond, Ollie Flemmer, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears, Bradley Johns, Josh Rogerson, Oliver Smythe, George Kitchingham, Tyler Simpson, Michael Parish, Caleb Hewson, Jesse Tashkoff.
Hutt Valley High School: Nathan Stirling (captain), Matt Girvan, Jack Griffiths, Dhvanil Gandhi, Greg Sullivan, Scott Galloway, Alan Carson, Dominic Graham, Vatsal Desai, Liam O'Brien, Jordan Duff, Kieran Mouton, Damon Baker-Fiddes.
Onslow College: Tim Johnston (captain), Andrew Cooney, Samuel Gifkins, Angus Henderson, Christopher Leitch, Angus Lyall-Collins, Jono Naysmith, Daniel Pile, Nicholas Pile, Alex Ridley, Mitchell Rush, Daniel Shannon.
St Pat's Silverstream: Zac Brodie (captain), Peter Aitken, Carter Andrews, Harrison Dean, Ryan Fraser, Nic Mannix, Callum McLachlan, Ben Murrow, Ben Ross, Mitchell Scott, Anthony Smith, Kenny Tuffin, Sam von Hartitzsch.
Scots College: Josh Lawrence (captain), Scott Oldham, Raveen Dias, Oli McMahon, Joseph Bowden, Lachlan Paton, Rohan Nathu, Doug Beattie, Josh Rippin, Sam Eastgate-Brown, Shaun Bishop, Connor Beleski.
Tawa College: Hamish Lockhart (captain), Ashvin Muthumala, Bob Kortegast, Heshan William, Luke Martin, James Lewis, Matthew Cook, Ryan Castelow, Pravik Maisuria, Oliver Scott, Mikail Ferreira, Michael Fenton, Scott Sommer, Jamie Sommer.
Wellington College first XI: Sam Brandwood (Captain), Jack Sargentina, Louis Chemis, Bhavik Patel, Franscois Swartz, Will Martin, Jakob Bhula, Louis Stevens, Thivindu Kithulagoda, Adam Blackwell, Cory Partridge, Christian Martin.
Wellington College second XI: Rory McNay (Captain), Izak Lee, Ben Freeman-Catley, Jack Newbery, James Hartshorn, Joshua Peake, Finnian Chemis, Hansaka Ranaweera, Jordan Herdman, Matthew Robertson, Niko Brooky, Robert Martin.
- The Dominion Post
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