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Blakeney’s innings a ‘pleasure’ to watch, says Gibbons

Glenn Blakeney’s record-breaking exploits with the cricket bat during last Saturday’s Eastern Counties at Sea Breeze Oval were nothing short of sublime.

That’s the opinion of former Bailey’s Bay all-rounder Noel Gibbons, the man whose record Blakeney ruthlessly shattered during Bay’s lopsided 295-run win over challengers Flatts Victoria.

The aggressive left-handed batsman, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, smashed a record 218 from just 120 balls to better Gibbons’ previous best of 183, achieved against the same opponents at the same venue in 1985.

He also featured in a record double-century partnership for the second wicket with fellow centurion Tre Manders (106).

The pair’s partnership of 232 beat the previous best of 173, achieved by St. David’s’ Calvin Richardson and Elliott Pitcher, exactly 50 years ago.

Blakeney dominated the massive partnership with 16 sixes and 19 fours before he was eventually stumped, charging down the crease to the left-arm spin of Dwayne (Sluggo) Leverock.

Bay coach Gibbons, the only player to score over 1,000 runs and claim 100 or more wickets in the Eastern Counties, said it was a “pleasure” to sit in the pavilion and watch Blakeney carve his way into the record books.

“I thought Glenn’s innings was absolutely brilliant,” said Gibbons.

“Over the years I’ve always said that if anybody was going to break my record it was going to be Glenn because he has been one of the most prolific batsmen of his era. He is a very explosive batsman and it could not have happened to a better person.

“I was totally pleased when he broke the record, which had stood for 26 years and to be truthful it seems as though some people have made more of it than I did.

“I was pleased the record got broken and pleased that it was broken by another Bay batsman.”

Gibbons admited Flatts’ bowling wasn’t the best but feels nothing should be taken away from Blakeney’s record-breaking performance.

He said: “People have criticised the bowling, which was nothing compared to when I made my record. But a record is a record and it only takes one ball to get out. Glenn was actually dropped (at point) before scoring.”

The veteran batsman was also spilled at mid-on while on 133.

Blakeney has now scored 200 runs or more in an innings on three occasions, including a career-best triple century (303 not out) while playing for St. David’s against Bay in a league match at Lords in 2001.

With 743 Counties runs to his credit, the 38-year-old cricketer currently remains 14th in the all-time Eastern Counties run aggregates.

Blakeney capped a fine display with bat and ball by claiming two wickets for 11 runs with leg break spin.

Gibbons, meanwhile, also paid homage to Manders’ maiden Eastern Counties ton.

He said: “Tre’s innings was not as superb as Glenn’s. But I still thought he had a first class innings, even though he was dropped four times.

“Tre is going to be a match-winner in years to come and it’s just unfortunate that Glenn’s innings sort of took the shine off how well he batted.”

Glenn Blakeney

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Published August 17, 2011 at 10:12 am (Updated August 17, 2011 at 10:12 am)

Blakeney’s innings a ‘pleasure’ to watch, says Gibbons

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