Hack's major impact
Wednesday, 2nd March, 2011
By John Casey
A whirlwind knock from key batsman Tobias Hack has propelled North into their fourth straight Barrier District Cricket League grand final where the Bulldogs will meet Central.
The two best teams all year will start the best-of-three grand final series at the Alma Oval this weekend.
But the Bulldogs' victory over West was tighter than the scoreboard indicated, with North recovering from the loss of three early wickets to eventually reel in West's tally of 113.
"It was one of the better innings I've seen in Broken Hill for some time," North captain Cody Howard said of Hack's power-hitting 48-run effort.
"Tobias was certainly the difference on the day, he turned the match in our favour with some very clean hitting."
Hack, who was the only player in the match to score more than 30 runs, smashed three sixes during his innings, including two mammoth shots that cleared the Alma Oval grandstand and landed in Bonanza Street.
"It wasn't slogging though ... they were good cricket shots," Howard said.
"The six he hit off Stephen Gibson was one of the best cricket shots I have ever seen in Broken Hill," he added.
Hack also ripped 14 runs off one over from dangerous spinner Matt Handberg, but despite the glowing praise from his captain he played down his individual heroics.
"I was just happy for the team to get the win," he said yesterday.
"It was a big confidence boost for us ahead of the grand final and gives us the chance to grab four straight premierships.
"Hopefully I'll be able to get some runs this weekend, but I don't really mind as long as we get the wins we need," he added.
Hack was also quick to absolve his good mate Howard from any blame in the run out that left him just two runs shy of his second half-century of the season.
"It wasn't his fault, just a mix-up and these things happen in cricket," Hack said.
Howard however was prepared to accept full responsibility for Hack's demise and said he was just happy it didn't turn the match in West's favour.
"I've been fined by my team-mates for the mistake, which is fair enough because it's the second time I've run him out this season," Howard said.
"To be honest, the way Tobias was hitting the ball that was about the only way he was going to get out," he added.
The Bulldogs were full of energy at last night's training session believing they have overcome the batting woes which have been noticeable in recent weeks.
"Our bowling and fielding has been in good shape, but our batting has been in a slump," skipper Howard admitted.
"But now we feel confident of putting up a good fight in the grand final."