Daniel Arms doesn’t normally count his runs, but on Saturday he made an exception.
After resuming from lunch the Charlestown opening batsman edged closer to his maiden first grade ton before going onto make a career-best 152.
But not without a few nervous moments in the nineties, including the crunch shot to reach three figures.
“I knew I was on 70 at lunch and I couldn’t help but count my score after that,” Arms said.
“As I got towards 100 I was pretty nervous. [On 99] the leg-spinner gave me one I could have hit anyway and I tucked it behind square straight to the fielder.
“Lucky for me there was a misfield and we scampered through for a single. Once I got there I felt relief. Then I was able to have a bit of fun.”
The 23-year-old, who made his top XI debut at his same juniors club seven summers ago in 2010-2011, said this achievement had “been a long time coming”.
“I haven’t done as well as I would have liked before hand so it was good to get a score on the board,” Arms said.
The left-hander has half-a-dozen first-grade fifties to his name, including a previous high of 68 and next best this campaign of 53, twice before Christmas.
In 2017-2018 he has noticed a few differences, but has thoroughly enjoyed his partnership at the top of the order with long-term mate and Charlestown wicketkeeper Matt Bench.
“It’s the first time we’ve opened together,” Arms said.
“Matt was batting 11 last year and I was playing second grade, but at the start of the season we didn’t really have anyone who wanted to open.
“We both said yes and it has worked out alright.”
The Magpies are third on the Newcastle district ladder and will more than likely lock down that spot after this weekend, thanks largely to the 6-412 posted against Stockton at Lynn Oval on day one of the last-round encounter.
A semi-final appearance and a potential premiership tilt await this month before Arms heads overseas for an English season with Sussex club Eastbourne.
“It’s good that we’re actually there at this time of year rather than watching other teams,” he said.
“Me, Matt [Bench] and Zac Mace are all heading away so it would good to get a premiership that’s for sure.”
Cricket has always been in the blood for Arms, the son of Newcastle head of selectors and former Australian Country representative Greg.
They only played together briefly in lower grades, but Arms fondly recalls afternoons as a child watching his old man run around.
“I spent my childhood around Waratah Oval,” he said. “Juniors in the morning and then watching dad. I loved it.”