Richo's call: Give up 600 wicket record for more runs
TAKING his 600th wicket for Brothers was another wonderful achievement for retiring skipper David Richardson.
However, after a seesawing two days of grand final cricket, "Richo'' showed how much he values winning big games with the club he has served so well for years.
"I'd give that up for another 100 runs,'' Richardson said reflecting on his latest milestone given the state of play.
Although Centrals are effectively 3/201 in their second innings with two days to play, the tireless Brothers spin bowler was determined to help his team keep alive its hopes of back-to-back first division titles.
"We are not out of it yet,'' the seasoned performer said, preparing to retire at game's end.
"We've got a long way to go and we've won finals from this position previously but we've got to clean them up as quickly as we can and chase down whatever they set.''
Richardson snared his 600th wicket for Brothers by dismissing gritty Centrals bats-man Rhys O'Sullivan, caught off his own bowling.
O'Sullivan had just put on a crucial 46 run partnership with David Tyler after Centrals slumped to a fragile 7/118 on Saturday afternoon.
After finishing the first innings with 4/106 off 31 overs, Richardson conceded Brothers let Centrals off the hook when their tail wagged to reach 254.
"The game changed there,'' he said of the O'Sullivan-Tyler partnership. "They really took the game away from us in that last hour or so.''
Tyler went on to make 76 with more strong contributions from bowlers Michael Abbott and Geoff Klease.
"That's what these four-day finals are all about,'' Richardson said. "You've got to play every minute of the day.
"We dropped Dave a couple of times early on and he ended up with 70 odd runs.''
When Brothers came out to bat on Sunday morning, the defending champions also got into early strife before being dismissed for 129. At one stage, Brothers were 8/61.
"Their tactics were to bowl at the stumps and six or seven of our blokes got bowled,'' Richardson said.
"They are a consistent bowling side and there were some really good wicket balls.
"That's what finals do. They create pressure.
"For us, our goal was to bat for the rest of the day and that obviously didn't happen.''
Losing regular leading run scorers Michael Ridgewell (2) and Luke Dixon (0) early hurt Brothers' hopes of overhauling Centrals' first-innings target.
However, still keen to make a game of it, Richardson was pleased the umpires allowed so much of the grand final to be played with threatening weather.
"There's still heaps of time,'' the respected captain said.
"I can't believe how much cricket we got in with the rain that was around. We got 160 of 180 overs in. That was a fair effort considering the rain that we had on Friday.''
And as for his latest milestone, Richardson's 600th scalp for Brothers came after taking another 50 wickets during his stint with Centrals in the late 1990s.
However, his thoughts will be purely on helping Brothers dismiss Centrals quickly in the second innings before mounting one of Brothers' trademark dogged batting displays.
"If we can get them for 300 - 320, we know we can chase that down,'' Richardson said.