Blues rookie and ACT/NSW Country opening batsman Matt Gilkes has continued a prolific start to the season in the drawn Toyota Second XI match with Tasmania at Phillip Oval, Canberra, completed on Thursday.

After the 20-year-old left-hander smashed 82 from 51 balls for the Blues in the Marsh One-Day Cup last week, Gilkes made more than 200 runs in the nation’s capital including 147 from 264 balls during the first innings.

It was his second century at Second XI level. He followed it up with 72 from 116 in the second innings.

ACT/NSW Country escaped with a draw late on the fourth and final day, after earlier being asked to follow on.

The hosts made 359 in reply to 8/510 declared by Tasmania in the first innings and were 1/141 when both captains agreed to shake hands.

ACT/NSW Country leg-spinner Tom Engelbrecht was a stand out with the ball. He claimed his third five-wicket haul in Second XI cricket finishing with 5/145 from 37 overs.

Young emerging opening batter Mac Wright (173) and fellow centurion Beau Webster (140 not out) were the cornerstone of the Tasmanian total.

Former Blues seamer Gurinder Sandhu collected 4-82 for Tasmania in the first innings.

Within the last two weeks, Gilkes has scored 477 runs from five visits to the crease across the one-day and four day formats at NSW Premier Cricket, One-Day domestic and Second XI levels.

During round one of McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket, Gilkes made 166 not out from just 115 deliveries to steer UNSW to an eight-wicket limited-overs win over Hawkesbury.

This week in Canberra, Gilkes was the glue that kept the ACT/NSW Country batting order together.

He was the only player in the top six that passed fifty and continued his emphatic form in the Toyota Second XI, that has changed its name from the Futures League this season. 

Last season, Gilkes was the third leading run-scorer in the Futures League with 508 runs at an average of 46.

In his last seven Second XI matches, Gilkes has scored 727 runs at 56.

Fast bowling allrounder Nathan McAndrew made 72 at No. 7, in the first innings, making a valuable contribution alongside Engelbrecht (46).

Gilkes shared two century stands during the match. He and ACT/NSW Country captain Jay Lenton (41) added 157 for the third wicket in the first innings. 

In the second, Gilkes combined with fellow opener Justin Avendano (46 not out) to add 119 and ultimately secure the draw.

Scorecard here.