Barron’s maiden first-class ton praised by team-mates

2009-10-29 00:00

IT is not every day that you hear of a batsman making a century in his maiden first-class innings, but that’s exactly what Chad Barron did this past weekend.

Maritzburg-born and bred, getting that first first-class ton at the PMB Oval?

There is little more a humble man could ask for, and one wonders whether it has ever been achieved before — and whether we will ever see it again in the future?

Opening the innings for KZN Inland against provincial three-day champs Griqualand West, Barron withstood a baptism of fire from Griquas’ pacemen before reaching what is a rare milestone in the game’s history. Barron’s 109 was punctuated with his trademark off-drives square and behind the wicket, while a priceless attribute is his concentration and patience at the crease, calm temperament and determination to build an innings.

“My sport has always been cricket, first playing with my brothers in the garden from a young age,” said the 21-year-old Barron.

“My parents, my team-mate Kyle Nipper and my girlfriend Stacey support me through the good and the bad and have been a big help.

“Hard work and persistence always pay off, stick to what you know and when you get your chance, take it with both hands,” Barron said.

Player/coach Doug Watson and captain Tim Drummond put it in perspective.

Watson said: “It’s extremely special, but the manner in which he batted was extremely mature. It goes to show that if you put your hand up in club cricket, you will get a chance. Chad came in for the injured Glen Addicott and did just that. A couple of other batters are not far off, including Standard’s Brenden Jones and Midlands’ Ant Foster.”

Drummond said: “Chad has performed extremely well for Standard, his opportunity was due as he’s earned it. He managed his nerves very well on debut and played his natural game. Opening is always tough and he responded to the challenge.”

Barron cites coaches Michael Dick (Merchiston), Mike Bechet (Maritzburg College) and Robbie Coutts (Standard and Shedders Academy, where the student is on a Varsity College bursary) as his major influences, while “Peter Allan has always been there to guide me through the rough patches with his years of experience”.

And there was double celebration for Inland in the second innings when Barron’s fellow opener, Maritzburg College staff member Mario Olivier (30), hit his first first-class ton in his eighth innings after falling just 11 runs short in his maiden innings against Namibia last season.

Maybe, just maybe, Inland’s opening batting woes are over.

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