Henry Hunt says he just wanted a beer and had no concern over play ending two balls early on Sunday, denying him the chance to seal an epic Sheffield Shield innings with a century for South Australia.
The 25-year-old opener was an impenetrable force at Karen Rolton Oval on Sunday, holding firm for more than seven-hours in a 326-ball innings of 97 that helped steer his team to a draw in the season-opening clash with Victoria.
It could have been a hundred if Hunt “hit a few more boundaries”, but instead he was denied the chance to convert his innings into triple-figures when Victorian captain Peter Handscomb decided to shake hands with only two balls left in the day.
Hunt had crept for most of the final session but began the day’s final over on 93, soaking up three more dot balls before glancing the fourth ball from Will Sutherland to the boundary for four.
That was when Handscomb said enough, leaving Hunt to go inside for the drink that he was craving more than a hundred he conceded he’d had ample time to get.
“At the end of the day I just wanted to get off the field and have a beer and finish the day,” Hunt said with no hint of animosity towards the visitors.
“It‘s nice to have personal success, but the end result of the day was to try and get the draw. I managed to achieve that, so boxes ticked in that regard.
“Hopefully, I can maybe score a little bit quicker in the next game, hit a few more boundaries and it might be on the cards.
“We were in such an unlikely position to even draw the game, backs against the wall given the position we were in early after lunch. It was the best possible result for us.”
Hunt’s cause wasn’t helped by a batting plan with tailender David Grant, who faced 46 balls without scoring, to only rotate the strike if they could score within the first three balls of an over.
“He calls himself ‘The Wall’ so he can live by that now,” he said.
Hunt will be back at the crease on Sunday when SA takes on Tasmania at the Adelaide Oval.