A Tom Le Lievre century has led Ballarat to a convincing 110-run victory over Maryborough on the opening day of Melbourne Country Week.
The Mt Clear skipper made a match-defining 116 as Ballarat smashed 5-320 in its 50 overs at the Eastern Oval on Monday.
The BCA, which was the beneficiary of an extraordinary 29 wides, then restricted Maryborough to 210.
Needing to reach the division one final to earn promotion back into the provincial competition next year, it was just the result Ballarat needed to give its campaign momentum.
Matt Ward, 63, and captain Heath Pyke, 75 not out, also played key roles in the run spree after being sent in by Maryborough as the temperature rose into the mid-30s.
Le Lievre and Mounties teammate Matt Ward (pictured) laid a strong foundation after the loss of an early wicket.
Ward found the boundary four times as he and Le Lievre stayed together until the 35th over. - adding146 runs for the second wicket.
It was Pyke who did the bulk of the damage late.
He hit 63 off the last five overs, with eight of his 11 boundaries and two sixes in this barrage.
Le Lievre, who batted at three, was out in the 49th over - an innings featuring 10 fours and one six.
BCA coach Darren Fletcher said the top order had given the home team the start it needed.
"I thought Matt Ward was fantastic early. There was a bit in the wicket. And then Tom Le Lievre went at a run a ball."
He said it set up a tailor-made situation for Pyke to cut loose.
"He seemed to find the middle of the bat pretty comfortably.
"We then bowled pretty well, so it was a good day all round," Fletcher said.
Le Lievre, who also finished the day with a wicket and a stunning run out, said it had been challenging early - with the pitch a bit soft and tacky.
"Once we got through that it flattened out and it was a pretty nice batting wicket."
He said his aim had been to bat as long as possible and deep, and it had worked out as planned.
Le Lievre said it had been enjoyable watching Pyke
With so many runs to play with, the Ballarat always look to be in control - keeping Marybrough well behind in the run chase and pickin up wickets regularly enough.
Mitch McClure, 51, and Lachlan Morganti, 42, did well in the middle order, but were never able to get the runs flowing quick enough.
Jayden Hayes finished with the best bowling figures for Ballarat of 3-39.
Harli Givvens took 2-28, with as expected slow bowlers taking pace off the ball allowed Ballaratr to control the game late.
Ballarat faces Casey Cardinia at Port Melbourne on Tuesday.
Casey Cardinia, 6-314, defeated Kingston Hawthorn, 8-184, on Monday
BALLARAT 5-320 d MARYBOROUGH
Sajith Dissanayaka 10
Matt Ward 63
Thomas Le Lievre 116
Harli Givvens 16
Heath Pyke 75no
Jayden Hayes 2
Nick Strangio 0no
Bowling: Matt Aikman 9-1-1-37, Ajay Mada 4-0-0-9, Will Hodgins 4-0-1-23, Nick Strangio 2-0-0-16, Ash George 10-0-1-36, Harli Givvens 10-3-2-28, Sajith Dissanayaka 2-0-0-12, Jayden Hayes 7-0-3-39, Tom Le Lievre 1-0-1-4