Teenagers strike with Thunder to surprise Swifts
AT 6-60 Swifts had every right to think they had Thunder on the rack.
That was before a 19-year-old and a 15-year-old showed the fearlessness of youth to give their team a fighting chance at Tivoli.
Lachlan Vellacott hit 96 and Jesse Larkin 44 not out, with a partnership of 89 to take Thunder to 225.
"The pitch was up and down early on and staying low," Thunder captain Lee Mutzelburg said
"Then the young fellas came in.
"We've got a bit of depth in our batting and they're not throwing their wickets away.
"They're batting for a long time and are not going out to hit big shots."
It was exactly the thing Mutzelburg said his team needed to learn last season, the Thunder's first in the top grade.
Leading the charge on Saturday was Australian under 15 representative Vellacott.
"He's going to be a talent," Mutzelburg said.
Mutzelburg lost the toss and was asked to bat, but despite losing 6-60 he would not have bowled first had he won the toss.
"I was always going to bat because of the heat," he said.
"We knew if we kept them out there things would go our way eventually."
It was then over to fast bowler Matt Muller to claim four wickets as Swifts were reduced to 5-75 at stumps.
"We knew we had to bowl straight and get them playing," Mutzelburg said. "No freebies.
"Use the new ball and let the pitch do the talking."
Mutzelburg led by example, holding two sharp chances in the slips.
The match remains in the balance; with Swifts having held back some of their best batsmen.
So the first half hour on Saturday is likely to have a huge bearing on the outcome.
"It will be real crucial," Mutzelburg said.
"Even though the ball is pretty buggered the pitch will be brand new again."