March 4, 2003

Courageous Baker steers Scarborough home

Shaun Taylor

Ex-Western Warrior Rob Baker smashed the innings of a life-time as Scarborough steamrolled Melville in the Don't Drink and Drive Shield final.

Baker struck a majestic 132 not out to take Scarborough to a comfortable seven wicket victory.

Baker's ton was all the more courageous as he has been struck down by chronic fatigue syndrome in recent times.

He plays rarely for Scarborough as extended physical activity can bring on bouts of exhaustion.

The day-night match was played at the WACA Ground before nearly 1000 loyal supporters.

Melville captain Adam Voges won the toss and batted on a rock-hard wicket. Warrior's one-day specialist Kade Harvey destroyed Melville's top-order, taking 3-16 from his first six overs.

Voges strode to the crease with the Storm at 3-59 in the 17th over and calmly set about saving the innings.

The elegant right-hander showed why he is rated so highly by WACA selectors.

Voges produced a sparkling 102 not out from 104 balls with 13 fours and a mammoth six off Kade Harvey.

He shared a 65 run seventh-wicket stand with Shawn Gillies (21) that added respectability to Melville's score.

Scarborough got off to a disastrous start in their chase of 222.

Paul Wilson removed the inform Clint Heron then produced the evenings biggest shock when he dismissed Test batsman Justin Langer for four.

Wilson buttered up Langer with a series of wide balls before bowling a perfectly pitched delivery that saw Langer edge to keeper Andy Greig.

When Harvey fell the Seagulls were 3-41 and the Storm were in with a chance.

Scarborough's keeper David Bandy had other ideas. He combined with Baker in a match-winning fourth-wicket partnership of 182.

Baker carried his bat in his 138 ball innings with 19 sweetly timed boundaries.

Bandy chimed in with a typically busy 73 from 102 balls.

Baker was Man of the Match and thanked the Scarborough Cricket Club for supporting him through some tough times.

In 27 Sheffield Shield-Pura Cup matches for WA Baker made 1168 runs at 28.49 and took 18 wickets at 42.89.

In 27 domestic limited-overs matches Baker made 360 runs at 20.00 before his career was curtailed by illness.