East Gambier captain Alex Hentschke powered his men into pole position at the halfway mark of the team’s twoday Barber Shield battle with Mil Lel at Scott Park.
Despite posting a strong total of 225, the hosts did not have it all their own way after star opener Dion Stratford was caught behind early doors. Emerson Marks and Leigh Von Duve looked solid compiling 42 runs for the second wicket, but they were both brought undone by Logan Gibbs.
After losing three wickets in as many overs, the Bulldogs were in trouble at 4/50 when Hentschke and Connor Little came together. Initially Little looked solid compiling 21, but he was outsmarted by legspinner Mitch Little. However, when the players returned after drinks, Hentschke seized his opportunity.
The big-hitting right hander smashed Mil Lel’s tweaker out of the attack with three big sixes over backward square leg. Hentschke continued the onslaught by attacking Jack Miller’s off breaks over cow corner. He compiled 65 runs from his last 42 balls, but a brilliant piece of work at deep square leg by Tim McInerney finished his innings on 71.
Travis Younghusband also looked settled at the crease and continued East’s momentum by dominating a 41-run stand with Ben Hentschke. Younghusband’s steady 54 helped the Bulldogs to 225 before being bowled out in the 74th over. Gibbs and Walters both claimed three victims each, while Mil Lel resumes its run chase at 0/4.