Jacques Snyman announced his arrival in the NCU with an opening day 124 as Carrickfergus beat Instonians by 64 runs in the Robinson Services Premier League.
The 24-year-old arrived in Northern Ireland with a big reputation having played in 19 First Class matches where his high score is 209, and it appears Carrick have found a player that could fire them to the next level.
Fellow new arrival CJ van der Walt added 40 to Carrick’s mammoth total of 320, while Jamie Holmes also contributed 65.
Instonians put up a strong showing with opener Oli Metcalfe kicking off the chase with 46 before being one of five van der Walt victims, while young Matthew Humphreys added a brilliant 77 in the late order and James Metcalfe finished 42*, but it wasn’t enough to stop Carrick kicking off their season in style.
Elsewhere, Waringstown beat Muckamore by three runs in what was a thrilling match at The Lawn.
Adam Dennison, who was top scorer in the NCU last season, kicked off the 2019 campaign by hitting 65 while opening partner James Hall added 45.
Lee Nelson also struck an important half-century to help Waringstown to 232-9 from their 50 overs.
In reply, wicketkeeper David Miller contributed 41 at the top of the order before being ran out by Dennison while Marcus O’Riordan looked comfortable on debut as he made his way to 63 before being caught and bowled by Matthew Daly.
That would be the turning point and Nelson sealed a narrow victory for the home side after trapping Neil Gill LBW as Muckamore finished all out for 229.
Also, champions CIYMS kicked their defence off with a four wicket victory over newly-promoted Lisburn at Wallace Park.
Lisburn reached 196/5 from their 50 over allocation with captain Adam Berry top- scoring with 55 and opener Jonathan Waite making 44.
CIYMS overseas professional Obus Pienaar smashed a glorious 101* which contained 11 fours and two sixes, and while they lost a few quick wickets towards the end of their chase, Pienaar and James Cameron-Dow got them over the line with 11 overs to spare.
Next weekend’39;s fixtures: Carrickfergus vs CSNI, CIYMS vs North Down, Lisburn vs Muckamore, Waringstown vs Instonians.
And West Indian opening pair of John Campbell and Shai Hope dominated the day in a big win over Ireland in the first match of the Walton One-Day Series at Clontarf as they won by 196 runs.
After losing the toss and being sent into bat, Campbell (179 from 137 balls) and Shai Hope (170 from 152 balls) put on a 365-run opening stand – the highest first-wicket stand in one-day international cricket history.
While Ireland’s bowlers were on the back foot, the returning Barry McCarthy claimed two wickets (2-76).