BAYSWATER all-rounder Darryl Stranger thought his first grade career would be over soon after his 200th game.
That was until two days before the start of the 2011-2012 Victorian Sub District Cricket Association season when Waters captain Sean Flynn asked Stranger to move up to add some experience to his young first XI.
Some strong performances meant Stranger was permanently placed in the senior side and he has kept going since then.
On Saturday, the 50 year old ran out for his 250th first XI game and the Waters celebrated the milestone with a first-day victory over Croydon at Croydon Oval bowling the Cockies out for 120 then Stranger was at the crease when the Waters passed the total late in the day to end play on 8-132. Stranger said he was proud of the milestone but hadn't given it too much thought until it was raised last week.
"I played my 200th match quite a while ago and then went back to captain the seconds," he said.
"I didn't think I'd play firsts again but Sean asked me on the Thursday before last season started if I wanted to come up for a couple of games. I got a few wickets so I kept playing."
Stranger said he had enjoyed his first team renaissance as he batted and bowled with the side's teenage members including 15 year old rising star Tim Sugumar, with the pair regularly sharing bowling partnerships.
"When I first started we had a much older side where as now we have three or four kids who are good, young cricketers so hopefully we can keep them for another year before they move onto Premier Cricket," he said.
The all-rounder hasn't set a date for his final 'dismissal' from the Waters' seniors, instead opting for the "one game at a time" cliche.
"A few blokes got on the texts to me and I got a bit of stick from the younger blokes but it all made it a good day, especially being out there when we passed their score," Stranger said.
The Waters continue their clash with the Cockies at Croydon Oval this Saturday at 1pm.