CLASS ACT: Matt Pigg works a ball of his pads to bring up 150 during the GDSC Premier League preliminary final GDSC Easts at Ellem Oval on Sunday.
CLASS ACT: Matt Pigg works a ball of his pads to bring up 150 during the GDSC Premier League preliminary final GDSC Easts at Ellem Oval on Sunday. Bill North

Veteran batsman's 163 sends grand final warning to Brethren

CRICKET: Veteran Tucabia batsman Matthew Pigg sent a warning to GDSC Premier League grand final opponents, Brothers with a majestic 163 against GDSC Easts at the weekend.

Pigg, who came to the wicket with his team floundering at 3/24, joined first drop Rohan Hackett (143) and the pair batted for most of the day in a match-winning partnership of 282.

Pigg said he felt nervous coming in with the team in trouble.

"After getting bowled out for 69 last week there was a bit of pride on the line,” he said.

"When I spoke to Rohan I said we had to bat as long as we could and hopefully get the total up to around 300. It looked a long way away at the time.”

The Easts bowlers didn't make it easy for them.

"By late on Saturday everyone had forgotten how well Easts had bowled,” Pigg said.

"When I had a look in the book at the day on Saturday I noticed the score was about 3/80 after 40 overs.

"To have those figures on a good deck with a fast outfield, is sign the bowlers have stuck to the task pretty well.

"It's going too far to say I felt sorry for them, but I hope they don't get too down after that.

"They actually bowled really well and it took two really good innings to get on top of them.”

Pigg also had plenty of praise for his partner Hackett, whose good form has propelled him up the order this season.

"Rohan's been hitting them really well, so we've put him up the order at three or four.

"He hardly played a false shot right through his innings. I would say the ball only beat the bat two or three times.”

Pigg was also happy with his own concentration, although he did enjoyed a life on 95, when he chipped a full toss to cover and was dropped.

"It took a little bit of the shine off it for me,” he said. "After all the effort of concentrating, to think I could play a shot like that annoyed me.”

Pigg revelled in playing the dominant hand in a big game, something wrested off him in a memorable grand final in 2002-03.

"I got 136 against Westlawn in the grand final when we scored around 310 or 20,” he said.

"Then Charlie (Daniel) Amos came out and scored 195 not out and they chased it down.”

Pigg said his most abiding memory of Amos's innings that day was having him dropped off his bowling when he was 50.

"He hit it straight to square leg. It went in and came out again, but that's what happens in big games. You have to take your chances.”

The weekend's innings should also send danger signs to the Brothers' attack, which has had the wood on Tucabia so far this season.

"It was the first time the concentration and the timing have come together,” said Pigg, who came to cricket after Christmas after a two and a half season lay-off.

"I've had a couple of scores since I came back, but I always felt I was just hanging in there and could get out any ball.

"On Saturday was the first time I felt I was hitting the ball really well and was in control most of the time.”

But he said the innings had not wound the clock back for the veteran batsman.

"On Sunday morning I felt like the clock had been wound forward about 20 years to be honest,” he said. "It was pretty hard to get going again.”

But he's looking forward to next week's grand final and a chance to ruin what has been a perfect season for the so-far undefeated Brothers team.

"I've played in a team that went through undefeated and it really puts the pressure on you,” Pigg said.

"It's cruel because none of the results you've had all season matter when it comes to that final game and it's all on the line.”