RICHIE Berrington produced one of the greatest knocks of his career – but his efforts were not enough to help Western Warriors break their Tilney Pro50 duck.
The veteran Scotland star smashed a brilliant 170 not out against the Cally Highlanders sun-baked Ayr – only for Rory Johnston to also bag a ton as his side grabbed the glory by two wickets in the final over.
Berrington had marched to the crease in worrying circumstances for the hosts. They had lost Matthew Cross and Calum MacLeod in the very first over before a run was on the board.
Not only did wise old head Berrington steady the ship, he dominated the exchanges. He reached his half century off 68 deliveries as he began to move through the gears, before arriving at his ton from 118 balls with the tally on 195 for eight.
Thanks to superb strike management and powerful hitting, he raced on to 170 not out – setting a target of 275 in the process. Berrington’s vigil lasted 145 deliveries and featured six maximums and 13 fours.
Jack Mitchell and Rory Johnston made a solid start to the pursuit with a stand of 80 before the former went for 33.
Craig Wallace then chipped a Gavin Main delivery straight to cover to make it 84 for two.
Main also accounted for Michael Leask and Callum Garden in quick succession. MacLeod and Berrington were then forced out of the attack by injury.
By this time, both Johnston and Chris Greaves had notched their half-centuries and Cally needed 95 from 15 overs.
Greaves perished for 68 – another victim for Main – leaving Johnston to proceed to his century.
And in the tension-packed finale, the visitors held their nerve when it mattered – Brock Ditchmen’s huge six swinging fortunes their way. Johnston’s straight drive to the ropes clinched it, leaving him 119 not out.