Adam Hewitt will return for Wests-UC this weekend after missing most of the season. Photo: Colleen PetchStress fractures in his back forced last season’s grand final hero Adam Hewitt to miss the start of Wests/UC’s title defence.
Nanjing Night Net

But the experienced campaigner has timed his return to form to perfection with the chance to reclaim the two-day Douglas Cup premiership just around the corner.

In his 100th game for the club, Hewitt compiled a patient 117 from 220 balls to help Wests/UC to a first-innings score of 259 in its penultimate-round match with North Canberra Gungahlin at Jamison Oval.

Norths will resume on Saturday on 0-6.

Hewitt has been rewarded with selection in an ACT team to take on the NSW second XI, featuring promising fast bowlers Gurinder Sandhu and Josh Lalor, at Manuka Oval starting on Monday.

The all-rounder has been unable to bowl for more than 12 months because of the back injury first sustained at the end of 2012.

He travelled to England in the off-season to play in the Lancashire League before the stress fractures flared again.

Hewitt returned to the crease in January as a specialist batsman, with MRI scans last week showing the fractures have healed.

”I was advised to take the majority of the season off, even with batting and fielding, and lay on the couch for six weeks and not really do anything to make sure it healed fully,” Hewitt said.

”It kept occurring in England and I had it before I left.

”I got back into batting at the start of January and now I can start up some strength (training) and hopefully have a good pre-season.”

Hewitt played a crucial role in Wests/UC winning its first two-day title since 2007-08, scoring an unbeaten 154 in last season’s grand final victory against Tuggeranong.

After a slow start to its title defence, Wests/UC has roared back into contention and sits equal second on the ladder.

”We’re very confident, we don’t have too many changes to last year,” Hewitt said.

”Going back to back is a very difficult thing to do, but we know we can do it.

”We spoke about a little bit of complacency in some games, but coming into finals time we’re really serious and ready to take out the title.”

In other games on Saturday, Queanbeyan (4-105) needs 28 more runs to get first-innings points against ANU at Freebody Oval, Eastlake (4-143) requires another 40 in its match with Weston Creek Molonglo (182) at Kingston Oval and Tuggeranong (9-245) will be chasing just its second win of the season against Ginninderra at Chisholm Oval.

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