By Shane Jones
Easts captain Arden Lankowski admits he took the team-first mentality rather than chase his own accolades in the opening round of the new Bundaberg cricket season.
And it probably cost him a historic first century for Easts.
Lankowski and the team went two from two in the Tallon Giles T20 competition in Division 1 in the first weekend of the new season.
Easts opened up the new season with a 23-run win over Brothers in the first game before beating last year’s premiers in the T20 competition, The Waves, by seven wickets.
And one player starred with Lankowski single-handedly helping Easts to beat The Waves.
After The Waves made 8/152 from its 20 overs, Lankowski came out, opening with Lennon Childs to turn the game in 10 overs.
Lankowski hit 89 from 48 deliveries, including one over where he scored 21 from an over.
All up, he averaged more than eight runs an over.
But as he crept towards a century, his focus wasn’t on getting to the milestone, it was about keeping the momentum going.
He fell 11 runs short of what would have been just the second century in club T20 cricket in the past six years.
But for Easts, the runs proved vital as the team got to the total with just over two overs to go.
“I wanted to keep that momentum and didn’t want to consolidate and chase any individual accolades,” Lankowski said.
“I just wanted to get the victory and that’s a lot sweeter for myself personally.”
Easts almost won last year’s competition, falling short as The Waves claimed a thriller on the final ball of the innings.
The win on Saturday wasn’t revenge, or motivation to beat the opposition, instead it was a focus on themselves to get better and go one step further.
“I don’t think any of the lads are too worried about last year and have put that to bed,” Lankowski said.
“We’re focusing on these titles.
“I think we are better placed with a lot more youth and just a better environment where you always have success with a positive mind.”
Easts will take on the only other unbeaten side in the competition, Norths, who also won both games last week.
The side will take on them at 11am at Kendalls Flat before facing Brothers at 2pm.
“It will be the same focus for us,” Lankowski said.
“We’ll bat our overs out and keep them to less boundaries than us.
“Usually you will come out on top if that happens.”