When Azam and the Hawks' top order was firing on Saturday it appeared they were on their way to victory. It wasn't to be in a round one thriller but Azam was still impressive.
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He made 40 from 78 balls and did the hard work at the top of the order, allowing others to thrive as the Hawks posted 9/203 against Colts.
The main reason the above Azam and his side didn't win on Saturday was because of this man.
Smith led from the front for Colts on Saturday and led a hugely impressive run chase. Colts reached the target of 204 in the final stages of the game and opening bat Smith was there not out 78 from 97 balls. Nine fours were hit in the captain's innings.
If Azam was the gritty one at the top of the order for the Hawks, Zab provided the fireworks.
The captain scored the first century of the Dubbo summer, with his 105 from as many balls leading his side to an imposing total.
Zab pummelled 14 boundaries in his fine innings and proved the Hawks, despite a round one loss, will be one to watch this summer.
Opening the batting with intent. That's what Naden did on Saturday and he's in at number four in our team.
Playing South Dubbo, the Rugby all-rounder whacked 53 from 52 balls, with eight boundaries and a six hit along the way.
Naden's knock helped his side to a strong start and the 150 they posted was too much for Souths, who were rolled for 84.
At 3/51 there were a few wobbles for CYMS on Saturday but Fairall steadied the ship before lifting the run-rate in a big way.
While he was given a couple of lives, Fairall punished the Macquarie bowlers and belted six fours and four sixes on his way to a knock of 73 not out from 70 balls.
It was the highlight of CYMS' score of 6/188, which was too much for the young Blues.
Opening the batting and then entering the bowling attack at first change. Rai proved his importance for the Demons on Saturday.
Rai slogged 33 from just 16 balls against Narromine but the Demons' fast start faded and they were bowled out for just 125.
Rai did all he could defending the total and finished with an impressive and economical 4/21 from eight overs to mark himself a danger man for opposition sides.
Josh Smith was the main man for Colts in Saturday's chase, but Howarth ensured the runs kept flowing during the tricky middle stages of the chase.
At 3/57 chasing the Hawks 9/203 things were looky iffy but the experienced Howarth went with attack as the best form of defence and hit six boundaries on his way to 35 from 27 balls. That knock swung momentum and, while there was still plenty of work left to do, it helped Colts score what could turn out to be a very important win in round one.
Howarth also took 0/28 with the ball, which wasn't too bad against Hawks' powerful batting lineup.
A total of 150 was solid for Rugby on Saturday but someone still needed to stand up with the ball against South Dubbo.
O'Connor was that man and he took 4/29 from eight overs as Souths were rolled for just 84 in reply.
After Rugby's new ball bowlers struck early, O'Connor tore through the Hornets' middle order to secure a strong opening win for his side.
Narromine may have lost on Saturday but Porter certainly did all he could to stop it from happening.
Narromine bowled the Newtown Demons out for just 125, thanks largely to Porter after he entered the attack late on before taking 4/21 from six overs.
It was a standout effort for his side but not enough to get a win as Narromine was bowled out for just 93 in reply.
Much like Porter, Brown starred in a losing side in round one. The Souths man removed four of Rugby's top five in an destructive spell of 4/40.
The big wickets of Matt Naden, Glen Shepherd and Zac Murphy were among his haul and while it helped keep Rugby to a total of 150, it wasn't enough to get the Hornets a victory.
'Snake' was doing what he does best on Saturday. Swinging the ball and just doing enough to take multiple wickets.
A total of 6/188 had CYMS in total control against a young Macquarie side but the Cougars still needed to do the job with the ball.
Cusack ensured that happened as he struck with the new ball and took 3/17 from six overs in a handy start to his season.
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