Captaincy seems to suit Crookwell youngster Jake Paterson.
The freshly-appointed head of Crookwell's first grade cricket team has led from the front during the first half of the 2020/21 season, and produced his best innings on Saturday.
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Up against the Astor Rats in the First and Second Grade T20 competition, the first round of the new year was a good one for Crookwell.
After winning the toss, the Rats elected to bat first at Crookwell's Lin Cooper Rec Arena, but soon fell victim to the home side's varied bowling lineup.
Zac McGregor was the pick of the bowlers, with 3-14 from his four overs. He was complimented by Jack Searl, whose 2-19 from three with the new ball got proceedings underway.
At the end of their 20 overs, the Rats could only cobble together 8-119, to leave Crookwell needing 120 for the win.
Though a required run rate of six is not high by the standards of T20 cricket, the Grange's notoriously challenging wicket makes almost any total defensible.
However, Paterson was determined to leave nothing to chance. At the top of the order, the 19-year-old compiled a battling 57, with eight fours and one six.
At 2-41, Crookwell had gotten off to a solid start when Jake was joined at the wicket by his twin brother, Josh.
Together, the pair put on 49 before Jake's dismissal, which sparked a worrying collapse.
From 3-91, Crookwell lost three more wickets for just 21 runs, to be six down by the time they reached the target with five balls remaining.
The victory sees Crookwell climb to third on the T20 competition ladder, leapfrogging the Rats to sit just behind Hibo CC and the Tatts Stags, who both won their matches yesterday against the Goats and the Warriors respectively.
Next weekend, the short form competition continues with matches between Hibo CC and Crookwell, the Stags and the Goats, and the Rats and the Warriors.
This will be the final round of the tournament before the finals, which will be played on January 23.
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