Cricket: Brown Hill takes control against North Ballarat

RYAN Knowles belted a whirlwind century as Brown Hill took control against North Ballarat in Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts action on Saturday.

Knowles, who has stepped down from captaincy duties this season, smashed 144 as the Bulls reached 344 shortly before stumps.

The hard-hitting left hander cracked 26 fours and two sixes in his knock.

Batting at number three, Knowles was forced to the crease early after opener Austin Murphy was bowled for a duck.

It was here that Knowles and Nathan Edwards combined for a club record 220-run partnership.

Edwards was first to depart after a well-made 75, before Knowles exited shortly after when the total had reached 234.

This platform, on a lightning quick Northern Oval 2, allowed the middle and lower order to continue the onslaught.

Jack James added 26 and Tim Knowles 43 before the Bulls were dismissed late in the afternoon.

This left the home side with a tricky stint in the middle before stumps.

Brodie Bennett (seven) and Matthew Spratling (10) dug deep and saw off the final few overs to have their side 0/18 heading into day two.

Playing in his 200th game for the Roosters, Matthew Cations toiled hard with the ball and finished the day with 4/138 from his 26-over stint.

Cations started playing with the club two decades ago in the under-12s and returned his best figures in the 2002-03 first eleven grand final win over Napoleons-Sebastopol when he snared 8/17 and 2/39.

He has now taken 426 wickets across all grades and made 2886 runs, with a top score of 201 not out in the fourths.

Cations was well supported by captain-coach Bobby Hind, who collected 4/57 from 13 overs.