A CLASS ABOVE

Sen­sa­tional 274 not out from South African im­port Wian Van Zyl

The Cobram Courier - - SPORT - By Pa­trick Tansey

Some­times in sport, you wit­ness a mo­ment, a sea­son, or a feat so re­mark­able it is scarcely be­liev­able.

You think of Le­ices­ter City win­ning the English Premier League, Adam Gilchrist rac­ing to 100 runs from just 57 balls in the 2006-07 Ashes se­ries,or Steven Brad­bury claim­ing a gold medal at the 2002 Win­ter Olympics against all odds.

In the quiet sur­rounds of Tocumwal Re­cre­ation Re­serve on Satur­day, a sim­i­larly jaw­drop­ping event went down in the Mur­ray Val­ley Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion.

While it will not cap­ture global at­ten­tion, it does not di­min­ish the mag­ni­tude of it.

When Co­bram Cricket Club’s South African im­port Wian Van Zyl, 23, strode to the crease to face the Tocumwal at­tack, he could never have en­vis­aged what would hap­pen next.

The open­ing bats­men clob­bered the Tocumwal at­tack to ev­ery part of the ground imag­in­able to make an as­ton­ish­ing 274 not out from 163 de­liv­er­ies.

The in­nings in­cluded an in­cred­i­ble 15 sixes and 25 fours, leav­ing the Tocumwal at­tack in a state of shock by the end of the de­mo­li­tion.

Once he got his eye in, Van Zyl played with a con­fi­dence and swag­ger which made him look as if he could bat for 10 hours with­out get­ting out. He was sim­ply a class above. He played beau­ti­fully be­hind the wicket, cut­ting the at­tack to rib­bons, while crunch­ing ev­ery­thing short square of the wicket.

His class was thor­oughly ev­i­dent late in the in­nings, post 200 runs, when he smashed two cover drives straight back over the bowlers head for six.

His tim­ing was im­pec­ca­ble through­out, and the sound com­ing off his bat was as pure as it gets.

The clean­ness of his con­nec­tion was some­thing to be­hold.

So what did the man him­self have to say about his epic knock? He claimed di­vine in­ter­ven­tion played a part.

‘‘It was my high­est ever score, I’m very thank­ful for it. I just want to say all praise to our lord up there be­cause I know with­out him noth­ing’s pos­si­ble,’’ Van Zyl said.

The bats­men said it was hard to de­scribe the in­nings look­ing back on it, re­flect­ing he was sim­ply in the zone.

‘‘If you ask any bat­ter, whether you’re hit­ting in the nets or out in the mid­dle, if you hit the first ball in the mid­dle and you cream it, you think it might be a good day and you just have to cash in on it,’’ he said.

Van Zyl has al­ways been a nat­u­rally ag­gres­sive bats­men and his strat­egy cer­tainly paid div­i­dends against a hap­less Tocumwal at­tack.

‘‘I like to at­tack the open­ing bowlers be­cause it’s a hard ball and it flies a bit harder off the bat, from there, you just have to take it ball by ball,’’ he said.

The im­port said the club had been mak­ing in­quiries to see if the score is the high­est ever recorded in a one-day game by a Tigers player.

‘‘Hope­fully it is and I can have a record of my own here,’’ Van Zyl said.

Co­bram cap­tain Adam De Cicco, who shared the end of the in­nings with Van Zyl, said it was cat­e­gor­i­cally the best knock he had ever seen in lo­cal cricket.

‘‘I’ve never seen some­one make 274 runs in a 45-over match. It was very dom­i­nant too, he pretty much took them on from ball one. I’ve never seen any­thing like it be­fore,’’ he said.

‘‘He’s a very hum­ble man, he didn’t say much af­ter it but you could tell he was pretty proud. The kid just loves his cricket.’’

What a game: Co­bram Cricket Club re­cruit Wian Van Zyl walks off Tocumwal Re­cre­ation Re­serve af­ter blast­ing an in­cred­i­ble 274 not out af­ter open­ing the bat­ting for the Tigers.

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