Marais aims higher after record innings

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There aren’t enough superlatives to describe the irresistible form of Border star Marco Marais, who produced one of the greatest innings ever seen at Buffalo Park on Thursday as he powered to a brilliant unbeaten 300 against Eastern Province on Thursday afternoon.

It was an amazing innings that featured 35 fours and 13 sixes, and he shared in a record breaking 428-run fifth wicket stand with Bradley Williams, who finished on 113 not out as Border declared on 512/4, after being in a spot of bother at 84/4 when Marais arrived at the crease.
SOARING: Border batsman Marco Marais goes over the top on his way to a historic 300 as Eastern Province keeper Matthew Breetzke watches on during the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup match at Buffalo Park on Thursday afternoon Picture: MICHAEL PINYANA

“I was striking the ball so well. I decided that I was just going to go hard at them and it came off in the end,” Marais told the Dispatch after his heroics on Thursday afternoon.

“Batting with Bradley was really good. I said to him that he must just play his normal game and that I was going to try and be attacking from the start.”

Marais’ previous highest first class score was the 128 he scored for Border in their drawn three-day encounter against Northerns earlier this season.

He did receive a few chances from the woeful EP fielders as they dropped him a couple of times. However, he still had to go on and capitalise, which he did in fine style.

“I don’t think anyone actually thinks they are going to get 300,” said Marais.

“I am really happy but I don’t think it has fully sunk in yet. I am just so tired now. I think it will eventually hit me later tonight.’’

The 24-year-old Marais will now certainly be on the mind of the Warriors coaching staff after an amazing start to the season that has seen him amass 590 runs in just six innings across the Sunfoil 3-Day Cup and CSA Provincial One Day Challenge competitions for Border so far.

Five hundred and three of those runs have come on the three day side, with scores of 128, 23 not out, 52 and 300 not out scored in his four innings, while his two one day innings saw him score 55 and 32 runs.

“I really hope someone sits up and takes notice,” said Marais.

“I think every semi-pro player dreams at playing at the next level, which is franchise cricket, and I would love to play in it.

“Before the season started I was targeting over 500 first class runs and I have already passed that, so now I am going to have to make new goals for myself for the rest of the season.”

Marais attributes his impressive form this season to a full off-season training programme, whereas in previous years he chose to go over to England to play cricket during the off-season.

“I usually go over to England to play cricket for a few months but after chatting to the coaching staff we decided that I should stick around and have a proper off-season,” said Marais.

Marais is currently in action for Border against Eastern Province, with the three day match ending today and will be playing in the one-day challenge match against the same opponents getting under way tomorrow morning at 9.30am.

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