A SCINTILLATING century from Wynyard's Shannon Bakes and an incredible form reversal from Sheffield were highlights of day 1 in Cricket North West round 15.
A red-hot Wynyard raced to first- innings points against ladder-leader Ulverstone, Sheffield shocked a disappointing Burnie and Devonport and Latrobe shared the first-day honours at the Oval.
Wynyard Blues v Ulverstone
Having lost its past two matches, Ulverstone was keen to make amends against the in-form Wynyard.
Ulverstone skipper Josh Walmsley won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first in perfect conditions at Wynyard Showgrounds.
The reigning premier was under some pressure early at 2-11 before Andrew Leary (18) and Josh Walmsley (34) combined for a third- wicket partnership of 38, but with both dismissed in quick succession Ulverstone was 4-61 and in need of a big partnership.
James Smith (55) and Sam Perko (42) answered the call, adding 95 runs for the fifth wicket to get the innings back on track. However, they were dismissed quickly by new ball pair Andrew Davidson (3-55) and Todd Chatwin (5-88).
Despite 25 handy runs from teenage all-rounder Corey Murfet, Ulverstone could not put together another big partnership, and was eventually bowled out for 192.
With new recruit Davidson bowling with pace and bounce, and the lion-hearted Chatwin returning to form after injuries, the Wynyard bowling attack looks impressive.
Wynyard fielded arguably its strongest batting line-up for the season, and made it count.
The early loss of opener Brent Burgess (0) to Lyndon Stubbs did not deter the home side, with the explosive Shannon Bakes and emerging leader Nick Pearce piling on 190 runs in the next 36 overs.
When in form, Bakes is one of the most exciting batsmen in the competition, and his blistering innings of 121 runs from just 113 balls was breathtaking at times.
His superb century included 19 fours and four sixes, and when dismissed late in the day by Luke Richardson he had secured for Wynyard a first innings lead.
With Pearce (67 not out) batting through to the end of the day, Wynyard had made 2-214 in an incredible 40 overs, and it will take a 22-run lead into day 2.
Sheffield v Burnie
Sitting in fourth place, the Hurricanes won the toss and elected to bowl first against the sixth-placed Mountaineers.
On a new wicket, Burnie's experienced opening bowlers Kade Bellinger (3-36) and Adam Drinkwell (6-40) destroyed the Sheffield batting line-up, with the Mountaineers dismissed for a paltry 108 in 51.2 overs.
Drinkwell dismissed five of Sheffield's top six batsmen to reduce the home side to 6-33 and in danger of being dismissed under 50, but Aaron McNab (24) and Nick Cashion (29) provided much-needed resistance.
The pair added 42 vital runs for the seventh wicket to help the Mountaineers pass 100 and gave their bowlers something to defend.
Determined to turn their fortunes around, Sheffield's pace bowling quartet of Shane Crawford (3-22), Aiden Marshall (2-18), Nick Cashion (2-32) and Aaron McNab (1-12) dragged their team back into the game with an amazing team effort.
In an incredible first 14 overs the Mountaineers ran through the Burnie top order, reducing them to 6-27. Brady Grey (23) and Nick Revell (12) added 30 runs for the seventh wicket to slow Sheffield's momentum for a time, but with both dismissed in quick succession the Hurricanes were 8-61 and soon were all out for 93.
Sheffield's bowling performance seemed to lift the confidence of its batsmen, as in a complete reversal of form the Mountaineers raced to 0-51 from the 14 remaining overs.
Devonport v Latrobe
The play between Devonport and Latrobe was a dour struggle.
The fifth-placed Orions won the toss and elected to bat in beautiful conditions at Devonport Oval. Opener John Sales (50) did his job of seeing off the new ball and proved to be a reliable anchor for the innings, but he could not find a partner to stay there with him.
The Orions lost their last five wickets for 41 runs to be bowled out for 170, a competitive score given the Demons' recent struggles with the bat.
Latrobe lost Callan Morse (12) early, caught and bowled by Chris Lindsay (1-20).
Promoted to the top of the order, Micheal Bishop (27) combined with Nathan Avery to add 32 runs for the second wicket, before Bishop was trapped lbw by Oliver Robinson (1-28).
With Tristan Weeks dismissed for just 1 by Jackson Saggers (1-18), the Demons had slipped to 3-45 and it looked like another middle-order collapse could be on the cards.
Unfortunately for Devonport, Saggers, the competition's leading wicket-taker (31 wickets) suffered an injury in his seventh over, and his absence from the bowling crease for the remainder of the day proved to be telling.
Avery (28 not out) combined with Matt Clarke (22 not out) to bat through the remaining overs in an unbeaten 39-run partnership.