Fox hammers Rovers for 143
A BLAZING century fuelled by frustration has made a mockery of Gerard Fox's "steady" reputation and forced the Atherton opener to rethink his approach to batting.Fox's 143 guided Atherton to a big defeat of Rovers but, incredibly, it was not the highest score in what was a day for the batsmen.
Tom Lever struck 158 not out in a beaten side in what was hailed one of the best knocks to be seen at Griffiths Park in recent years.
Earlier it was Fox making a statement after being regarded as the anchor man for North Queensland this season.
He walked to the crease in an angry frame of mind and took it out on Rovers, plundering an unbeaten 143 off 122 balls.
"I walked out to bat and was in a sh---y mood," Fox said.
"I wouldn't have cared if I got out, I would have walked straight off, no worries.
"I read the preview in the paper that said I was batting slow and that's pretty fair considering I made 30 off about 200 balls against the same attack last week.
"But I didn't like it and I certainly think for Atherton I won't bat like that again. Mentally it does my head in."
His innings was not without luck. A dropped chance early in his innings hurt Rovers, but it featured 11 fours and six maximums on a pristine Griffiths Park wicket.
Atherton recruit Tom Boorman (84) put on 212 with Fox as they finished their 40 overs at 2-276.
That was just the first instalment of what was an incredible game, with Tom Lever playing one of the best innings seen in Cairns in recent years.
The captain eclipsed Fox's effort with an unbeaten 158 from 118 balls but he didn't have enough help as his side still fell 32 runs short.
"Tommy's innings was amazing. It was one of those ones where you just couldn't bowl to him," Fox said.
"And to bat with that pressure chasing a big target. It was one of the best efforts I've seen.
"To make 150 in 40 overs and still lose is pretty amazing."
Atherton were void of their frontline pace duo Luke Parnell and Mitch Steele and also missing in-form batsman Fred Pittorino.
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Seam up: United paceman Tom Edwards sends one down against Barron River at Crathern Park. Picture: MIKE WATT