Vella Tons Up for North

A-Grade cricket kicked off in the Silver City this past weekend as North took on South Saturday morning at the Alma Oval.

It was a hefty win for North – they defeated South by over 200 runs in the first match of the season. There were many impressive performances on display, but without a doubt the pick of the bunch was 28-year-old Jordan Vella’s unbeaten 100, the first century of the off-spinner’s career.

“It’s my first one. I have only been playing cricket since I was four, so I was probably due,” Jordan laughed.

“I am usually a bowler, I mean I can bat a little bit, but it was definitely something I never expected to happen to be honest with you.”

Vella was born and bred in Broken Hill and earns a living as the coordinator for parks and open spaces. He played his junior cricket for Central Cricket Club, but his entire senior career has been played in the blue of North Broken Hill Cricket Club, which makes getting the milestone against rivals South even more special.

“I think South were missing a few of their usual bowlers. You’ve still got to get them [runs], I suppose. I just knew that I needed to stay out there for the time being as we had lost a few quick wickets.

That was all I was really trying to do to start with.”

Once Jordan had cemented his spot at the crease, got his eye in and hit the first milestone 50, there was enough time left for him to have a go at the elusive ton.

“Once I got past 50, I thought I might as well have a crack, because I’d had enough of running between the wickets.”

And have a crack he did. Vella went about carting the South bowling attack all over the park. Suddenly, triple figures were a genuine chance. Time was running out fast though, and he entered the final over needing six runs to reach every cricket batsman’s Holy Grail.

“There were a couple of no-balls in the last over which definitely helped. It was probably the worst I’d hit the ball all day – I think I was a little bit nervous,” Jordan said.

“I was batting with Mick Maalste who did us a big favour by getting me on strike a couple of times in the last over.”

It was the final ball of the North batting innings when Jordan finally reached the landmark total. And when he did, the sparse crowd at the Alma Oval let out a roar that the MCG would be proud of.

“It’s something that every cricketer dreams of. I think at some point in your career you get an idea of things you’re good at, and the things you’re not so good at. It was something I never thought I would be in the position to be able to do.”

With the milestone now firmly secured and under his belt, Jordan is looking forward, along with his teammates, at getting some redemption and making the Grand Final.

“Last year was a little bit disappointing, so hopefully we can get back up there and have another crack this year.

“We’ve started really well. You can’t ask for much more of a better start than we had at the weekend. I think that picking up Michael Maalste from Central is a big boost for us. I know all the boys are extremely determined to get back there [to the Grand Final].”

Jordan will look to back up his century performance, along with his North teammates, this coming weekend as they take on West in round four of the A-Grade BDCL competition.

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