Is it the innings that launches the Big Bash League career Jono Dean so badly wants?
He got the Prime Minister’s XI off to a flyer, smashing 51 runs off just 40 balls, no doubt catching the eyes of BBL franchises around the country.
Dean could have been forgiven for being nervous as he strode to the middle to open the innings with Usman Khawaja, but he put those nerves to bed almost instantly.
He thrashed the very first ball he faced on the familiar Manuka pitch over cover for four, leaving West Indies captain Darren Sammy in no doubt what his intentions were.
It was just one of a number of aggressive shots that would thrill the Canberra crowd on the way to a scintillating half century.
He also rocked on to the back foot and twice sent the white ball over the rope.
Again it was Sammy who copped it, Dean pulling him over mid wicket for the first six of the game.
The Canberra Comets opener raced to 32 off just 19 balls, a run rate more akin to the Twenty20 form of the game rather than the more pedestrian 50-over version.
Before the match, Dean said he would play his natural game – a clean-hitting approach many Canberra bowlers have come to dread, which also earned him a supplementary contract with the Melbourne Renegades.
He played and missed, and hit the ball just out of fielders’ reaches on occasion, but that’s the type of player he is.
Dean flew into the 40s and the crowd held their breath, but not for long.
This time it was Andre Russell’s turn.
Dean rocked backed and hooked him for six over square leg into the Bradman Stand for six, bringing up his 50 in just 40 balls.
But he went to the well one too many times soon after, attempting a lofted drive off Dwayne Bravo, but sent it too square and down the throat of 12th man Jason Holder at long off.
The innings might have come too late for this summer’s Big Bash League, but it could stand him in good stead for the next.
The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Shanghai Night Net.