The Lithgow Lightning once again proved they’re no flash in the pan, the reigning Royal Hotel Cup champions shot to the top of the standings with a second consecutive win on Friday night, taking a massive scalp this time too.
The Lightning waltzed home over a powerful Centennials Bulls outfit, one many labelled title favourites after their first-up win, in a rain-affected clash, again showing how adept they are at chasing.
Led by skipper Ben Sheehan’s unbeaten 53, the Lightning finished 1-80 after just 11.3 overs, in reply to the Bulls’ 124.
Rain halted play and because both sides had received the minimum of five overs the result was determined by the comparative run rate method which, considering Lithgow was cruising along at more than seven an over, was always going to be a Lightning win.
The victory had an extra edge to it for Lithgow as well, considering several of last year’s title-winning side now play for Centennials.
The Bulls’ powerful top five – Mick Curtale (8), Josh Toole (13), Ryan Gurney (25), Andrew Brown (17) and Aaron Seymour (13) – didn’t produce the fireworks they’re known for, adding 76 between them.
The only other bat to hit double figures was Troy Kenny on 13.
Lithgow’s Tanvir Singh (3-29) and Nick Miller (3-27) were the best with the ball and helped to restrict the Bathurst-based side to 124.
Singh did the damage up top removing openers Curtale and Toole for not many.
Lightning marquee Pat Lawrence (0-15) and Sam Timbs (1-16) were also impressive as they kept the Bulls quiet in their full spells of four overs each.
Nick Miller, Andrew Fawbert and Nic Kenniff took one catch each in the field.
Then Sheehan went to work, dismantling Centennials’ attack with ease to notch a half-ton and steer the Lightning to an ultimately match-winning position when the rain came.
Joel Gurney was also 14 not out at the close of play.
Former Lithgow players Chris Redding (0-24) and Josh Howarth (0-18) bowled without luck for Centennials.