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Travis Head's maiden ton more than a captain's knock

Roar Rookie
10th November, 2015
11

It took 1376 days and 35 first-class games but it was well worth the wait. In the final innings of the recent South Australia-Western Australia Sheffield Shield game, Travis Head finally scored his maiden hundred. The moment couldn’t have come at a better time.

With South Australia staring down the prospect of their second consecutive loss and potentially another season of despair, Head came to the wicket at 2-102 chasing an imposing 316 for victory.

With only modest contributions from the rest of the batting order, Head contributed 114 and when he was dismissed, South Australia was within striking distance.

The tail chased down the remaining runs and ensured that Head’s maiden ton was not in vain. It was something to savour.

In the 34-game period leading up to this week’s Shield game, Head had scored almost 2000 runs with 17 fifties including no less than five scores in the 90s. The elusive hundred was becoming more than the elephant in the room.

Of course his personal milestone was not something he could just fully concentrate on.

In the latter half of 2014-2015, Head had even been entrusted the captaincy of a side completely devoid of any success in the longer format for nearly two decades. On top of that he was only 21, and just to add some pressure he was a top order batsman who had not scored a first-class hundred.

The long drought before a breakthrough ton is reminiscent of another player in a struggling side. Steve Waugh broke through for his maiden hundred in his 27th Test. That was a wait that definitely paid dividends in the end. South Australia will hope for something similar.

For the team and fans this week’s win means a bit more given the fact that a three-figure score is alongside the skipper’s name. However, it is something all of Australian cricket would be pleased about.

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Head’s undoubted ability has been continually recognised, being a member of the Australian Under-19 side and this year joining the Australian A team tour to India.

The maiden ton doesn’t mean the pressure is off. A different type of pressure comes now – one of expectation. But for the moment, let’s enjoy not just a maiden ton, but what was a match-winning maiden ton.

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