Skipper Nathan Price dominated with bat and ball on debut for Newcastle in the NSW Premier Cricket Twenty20 Cup to guide them to an eight-wicket win over Greater Illawarra on Sunday.
Price finished with 4-16 off three overs with his medium pacers and took two catches to help restrict Illawarra to 8-134 at North Dalton Park in the opening round of the competition. Kieran Gray (42), Kerrod White (30) and Tim Laws (31) led scoring for the hosts.
Price, the Wallsend captain, then opened the batting and smashed 11 fours and a six in an innings of 75 off 40 balls to put Newcastle on course for victory. Nick Watkins steered them home with 36 off 39 balls as Newcastle passed the target two wickets down in 17.1 overs.
Newcastle coach Shane Burley was happy to have Price with his side instead of against them this season.
“That was his first game for us in this comp,” Burley said.
“He’s played for Randwick the last couple of years, so it was really good to have him on board.”
Burley was pleased with the performance, especially considering he had seven players making their debut for Newcastle in the format.
“The boys did really well,” he said. “We’ve been training pretty hard and we came in and did what we had to do and executed it well.”
Newcastle turn their focus to the NSW Country Championships in Nowra, which start on Friday against Riverina. They play Illawarra on Saturday and ACT Southern Districts on Sunday.