CRICKET: A double century to Caboolture captain Glen Batticciotto highlighted a day of heavy scoring as Sunshine Coast division one grounds welcomed batsmen to round three.
The Snakes declared at 7/361 against a battered Nambour, while Glasshouse reached 279 with a century to Dan Cahill at Tewantin, and Gympie benefited from a record 82 last-wicket partnership to mount 265 against Maroochydore.
At the Showgrounds, a winning call to Batticciotto gave the ball to the Cutters, and the home side's day started well as Tyran Eggmolesse trapped a scoreless Joel Saunders in front in the second over. When Jayden Francis had Dan Book caught nine runs later for 2/24, Nambour skipper Ash Renouf, himself restricted to limited bowling with a foot injury, would have considered the progress promising.
But the second wicket brought Batticciotto to the middle, where he would stay for the next 73 overs, amassing an unbeaten 202 with 21 fours and nine sixes on the narrow oval. The ex- Queensland left-hander was cautious early, then started to blossom in a 149 pairing with Matt Parkinson for the sixth wicket.
His first 50 took 86 balls, with the century coming up in another 68. From there Batticciotto was brutal, belting the second hundred in just 67 deliveries, culminating in the passage from 180 to 202 off just four deliveries from a hapless Andy Collins.
The milestone triggered the declaration, with Nambour 1/15 at stumps, and missing Ledger, Eggmolesse and Renouf in a long chase next week, coinciding with the Schaeffer Shield.
Dan Cahill's second century for Glasshouse pushed Glasshouse through a slump to a respectable 279 at Read Park, assisted by valuable contributions from a final five which soldiered on from 5/84. Wickets were shared around, with Jarrod Officer's 3/79 best.
The home side will be without captain Steve Shaw, Officer and Codey Rzeszkowski next week, though Shaw made his contribution with a 17-ball 49 to open the Thunder reply as the day closed at 1/75 off nine overs.
Gympie would consider 265 and Maroochydore 3/68 a promising day, despite a shining debut for the Swans by Sam Oldham, who ended with 3/47 and an unbeaten 47. Oldham and Kev Schultz, 4/71, reined in the Gold from 4/172 to 9/183 until Callum Morrison, also on debut with 56, and Anthony Reid pushed out the total.
With Adam Thornton replacing Lachlan Kropp next week, plus Dylan Betts, Darryn Dyer and skipper Schloss, Maroochydore has the talent to raise the runs, though the experience of bowlers like Troy Ashton counts for much in the home side.
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