James Ferris is a freak – in the nicest possible way.
The talented cricketer set the opening round of the Borton Cup alight on Saturday with a blazing 25-ball century that had stats geeks reaching for the record books.
Ferris (27) finished unbeaten on 107 off just 29 balls to lead Oamaru-St Kevin’s to a six-wicket win over Valley at Don Field.
Oamaru had lost two wickets in the space of an over and was teetering at 47 for three in pursuit of Valley’s 185 when the strapping all-rounder came to the crease and started teeing off.
He reached 50 off 14 balls, and took only another 11 to get to three figures.
“When I came out, I hit the first ball over the slips,” Ferris told the Otago Daily Times
“It wasn’t a chance or anything but I thought then I might as well go for it.
“I hit them all round the wicket. I knew it was pretty quick but I did not realise it was that quick.”
Ferris hit 12 sixes and six fours off a shell-shocked Valley bowling attack, bringing up the ton with a straight six.
The former Waitaki Boys’ High School pupil, who is also a North Otago hockey representative, first made the headlines a few years ago when he smashed 293 off 91 balls in a Canterbury Country club game.
He said he was just glad to get the win and there were a few celebrations to mark the day.
“It was just a good team effort. Robbie Breen took five wickets and Nick Johnston bagged four so it was good to get the win.”
Ferris works in Christchurch but commutes to Oamaru every weekend to play club cricket, and is hoping to play his way into the North Otago squad for the Hawke Cup.
Ironically, his uncle had earlier been in the limelight.
Reuben Simpson belted 56 off 51 balls for Valley, supported by Andrew Harding (33), Tony Gray (32) and Cameron Grubb (30).
Breen, the wily offspinner, finished with five for 53 off his 10 overs for Oamaru-SKC, and Johnston claimed four for 29.
In reply, Ash Abraham supported Ferris with 48, while Nathan McLachlan claimed three for 41 for Valley.
In the other Borton Cup game, Waitaki Boys’ beat Union by eight runs in a low-scoring clash.
Scott Kitto and Hayden Creedy each scored 22 as the schoolboys were dismissed for 113. Blake James was the pick of the Union bowlers with three for 22, while Sam Bastin and Brad Fleming took two wickets each.
Mason James then claimed a five-wicket bag and Creedy added two wickets as Union folded for 105 in the 29th over.