BROWN Hill captain Jason Knowles says there is more to Shane Harwood than his lethal bowling pace.
Harwood is underestimated with the bat in the Ballarat Cricket Association club firsts.
Knowles said the former Australian representative was starting to show his strong batting potential at the right end of the season, as highlighted in semi-final action at City Oval yesterday.
Harwood, alongside the seasoned Ryan Knowles, swiftly hunted down Wendouree, after the Bulls lost two quick wickets on day one, to end play within 10 overs yesterday.
The Bulls have shown their faith in the decorated bowler, moving him to the top order where he has started to deliver.
“He’s a pretty handy bowler for us, with his experience knowing what to do and where to place the ball best, but he probably hasn’t shown his best with the bat. He’s coming good at the end of the season,” Jason Knowles said.
“He made 39 runs for us (in the semi) and 70-odd last week.
“He is definitely a very valuable batsman as well.”
In this high-pressure clash, the headline act rightfully took centre stage for the Bulls, who rallied with him in pulling reigning premier Wendouree to pieces.
Harwood took 5-22, inflicted a run out and took a catch to ensure Wendouree was all out for 78 runs within 39 overs on day one.
Disbelief soon spread through the wider BCA community, which was conditioned to the Red Caps reaching the final – something they have done, and won, the past five seasons regardless of where in the top four they finished.
There was a brief period late in the day when the Red Caps became resurgent.
They bit back to have the Bulls 2-7 – both via Red Cap Eamon Johnson – before a big-hitting Ryan Knowles and Harwood stepped up to bat out play, which umpires called to be abandoned for poor light and more showers about 5.15pm.
This was despite the Red Caps’ efforts to nab a couple of handy late wickets.
Ryan Knowles (45 runs) and Harwood then belted the Red Caps in a return to the crease yesterday.
Both finished unbeaten.
Skipper Jason Knowles said it felt great to be back playing finals – but even he was surprised at how quickly his team pulled apart Wendouree.
“Wendouree’s a good finals team ... they just made a few mistakes with the bat,” Knowles said.
“It was good to get the semi over with early.
“Our bowlers were great on day one, really patient with how and where they bowled.”