Seal Media Group, Australia
He’s set to be a revelation for the Blues.The 22-year-old – with three fifties from seven first-class matches – almost single-handedly helped deliver Southern Districts their second two-day title in three years. Gilkes scored a typically classy 126 not out from just 128 balls in the Crocodiles’ massive seven-wicket win over Waratah in the 2021 Darwin Premier Grade Final.It looked an even contest going into day two, with the defending-champion Warriors bowled out for 247 on Saturday.Crocs captain Matt Hammond said “anything can happen in grand-final cricket” going into Sunday, but even he must have been pleasantly surprised at Gilkes’ dominance during his team’s chase.The young left-hander finished the season with three tons from just six innings.“His game is at the next level,” Hammond said before the weekend.Hammond was also full of praise for opener Lachie Hardy (71) and Dean Fry (26). “Lachie Hardy did really well and Dean through the middle – both were outstanding,” he said.Hammond – a proud Districts junior playing his 150th game – couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.“It (the win) is a reward after a long season,” he said.“We were a bit nervous, but in the end we stuck to our plans and it paid off. “It was great to see the guys do it again.”And he promised the Crocs would be hard to beat next year. “We always look to try and improve,” he said.