RINGWOOD batsman Tom Stray hasn't had the best of Premier Cricket seasons, at least not to the standard he expects of himself.
But the former Victorian batsman turned on one of the best innings of his career on Saturday, posting 162 from 249 balls with 15 fours and three sixes.
Stray also formed a Rams club record stand of 226 for the third wicket with star all-rounder Ian Holland (102) as Ringwood posted 6-352 declared against Camberwell Magpies at Jubilee Park on Saturday.
The Magpies held onto their wickets in a tiny three-over stint at the end of play to be 0-7 at stumps heading into the second day.
Stray, who returned to Victoria this year after spending last season in South Australia, said he was happy to get some runs when his side was in need of them.
"It's about time," Stray said. "I feel I should have done a bit better this season. It's good to get runs when we are coming up to finals. Hopefully I can get some more from here."
Stray said he had set himself to bat through the innings after in-form openers David King and Nathan Walsh were dismissed before the Rams had reached 20.
"I was hungry to get some runs and help us stay in the top four. They kept coming at us and they had a lot of bowlers.
"So it was good to stick around, because they tired at the end and put on more spinners, which made batting a bit easier."
Stray also praised Holland's innings and his form with bat and ball. The all-rounder made 535 runs at an average of 38 with two centuries and took 33 wickets at 15.
"He was sensational. Ian is in really good form and hopefully he gets rewarded with some first class games. He definitely deserves it.
"He has put in a lot of work while training with the Victorian squad. He has definitely taken the next step."
Stray said the Rams would now turn attention to bowling out the Magpies this Saturday.
"I'd like to think we have enough runs and we have some form bowlers as well."
"Michael Topp has been a superstar this season. Hopefully the Victorian second XI selectors reward him for his form."
Stray and Holland's stand surpassed Michael King and Sean Flynn's partnership against Prahran in 2007-2008.
The Rams and Magpies resume play at Jubilee Park, Ringwood, at noon this Saturday.