LONG AFTERNOON: Alex Mitton was one of a number of Rugby Union bowlers made to toil on Saturday as a Jameel Qureshi special saw Blayney produce a big win. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 030715crugby1
THE Blayney Bushrangers have given Rugby Union some food for thought heading into their Bathurst District Cricket Association first grade semi-final, after handing them an eight-wicket thrashing on Saturday.
Jameel Qureshi joined ex-Rugby player Max Hope in Bathurst’s first grade double-hundred club as he hammered a sensational 208 at Brooke Moore Oval.
It helped his team to a massive first innings total of 378 in reply to Rugby’s 167 from day one.
It was Qureshi’s first century of the season in local cricket and handed Blayney their second win.
Rugby bore the full brunt of the knock as they were made to toil for a total of 101 overs. Instead of a possible minor premiership, they ended up fourth on the ladder.
Jameel Qureshi and his brother Imran (57) took their side past the required target without any further damage in the wicket column, having resumed at 2-48.
Rugby knew that breaking that stand in the early overs on day two was the key to victory but they couldn’t do it.
Instead they were forced to watch on as the siblings piled on 154 for the third wicket.
The Bulldogs were banking on having a second innings slog to try and grab some bonus points.
They didn’t get the chance thanks to Qureshi’s masterclass.
Blayney themselves had nothing to gain from a second innings given that their finals hopes were long gone.
“Imran and I spoke about it when I came back from playing in Sydney, the idea of hopefully batting for a full day together or having a big stand like that one,” Jameel Qureshi said.
“The pitch was pretty good, there was a bit in it for the bowlers early, but not like there was last week. We did it a bit tough early on, they bowled quite well, but it flattened out after that.
“We got to the session after tea and I asked Mitto [Rugby captain Andrew Mitton] if he wanted to call it quits, but they wanted to play for bonus points so we kept on going.”
After Imran Qureshi’s departure, Adrian Mielke (27) and Jayden Fuller (28) each gave Jameel good support.
But it was Jameel’s day and he was particularly brutal once he reached three figures.
Jeremy Thackray was a standout for Rugby, taking 4-46 from 21.4 overs, while Jim Tristrum picked up 3-76 from 20.
When Blayney were finally dismissed, it left Rugby with a measly 18 balls to face.
They made the most of them, smacking 37 thanks to Sam Macpherson (20 not out) and Thackray (17 not out).
Jameel Qureshi had no idea he was even approaching such a massive landmark in the latter stages of his innings, and said that it was among his best knocks but perhaps not at the top.
“I wasn’t too conscious of my score, I felt after I got to 100 that I could just keep batting for a bit and then maybe start to give things a bit of a crack,” he said.
“I didn’t know I was getting close at all.
“I don’t think it was quite the best I’ve batted, I offered a chance to Alex Mitton off his own bowling. I think the hundred against Parkes for Bathurst earlier this season was my best knock. This was up there though.”
The result means that Rugby, who went into the match playing potentially for top spot, now find themselves in a sudden-death final against City Colts.
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