While the weekend saw a lot of good news for the Kiama Cricket Club, it did contain perhaps two of the best stories in individual performances, both of which have probably been coming for some time, and both of which were from opening batsmen.
Dale Scifleet has threatened for the
past couple of years to break through and translate his obvious talent
into runs and wickets. At a time when Kiama Cricket needs him to do it
the most, it looks as though he may finally have taken that step.
1sts were jumping on Saturday, having finally broken a 15 year hoodoo,
and taken 1st innings points in their clash with Warilla. In the midst
of this achievement stood the growing colossus of Dale Scifleet.
on as first change as 1sts attempted to dismiss the Kookaburras, Dale
snared 3/23 with his increasingly improving bowling. Dale has always
shown himself to be a bowler with an ability to bowl quick, though
unfortunately his frame has sometimes been unable to cope with that
strain. For the first time since he was 16, he now appears fit and
strong enough to cope with the demands he places on himself in delivery.
no rest for the wicked, Dale, having helped decimate Warilla for just
98, immediately straps on his pads, and walks out to open the innings
for Kiama's reply. He is in form, having scored 65 not out in the first
match. Now, however, he must do it against one the competition's
historically striongest teams.
Though two early wickets fell, Dale is
resolute, and with his skipper, they steer Kiama past the mental
barrier imposed for so long. From here, the job is not finished, Dale
bats on, dominating the attack, until, like Kiama batsmen in the
nineties before him, he cuts a ball on to his stumps, prematurely ending
his innings on 94, when a maiden 1st Grade century beckoned.
does it all mean. From the sidelines, what it means is that Dale has
finally found himself as a cricketer, managing to meld the talent with
the work ethic on and off the field that is required to succeed. His
selection for South Coast is testimony to that, and the possibility of
reaching Southern Zone and, maybe, Country, would be an extension of
More than anything else, Kiama's great hope for the past six
years finally appears to have materialised, and with it, 1st Grade's
best chance for success in many years.
A few kilometres away, at
Bonaira Street, another prodigal was making a mark of his own. Simon
Pearson seems to have spent the last few seasons in the shadows,
appearing briefly in the higher grades, but generally forced to work his
trade in 3rd Grade, where he was playing on the weekend.
skipper had won the toss and decided to bat against The Rail Red, Simon
strapped on his pads and walked out to face the music.
The side was
loaded with faces that, in talk at the Grand, were expected to do the
real damage. But while Savage, Wills, Gunning, Bombaci, Park and Lawler
made their contributions, Simon played as he always does, accumulating
his runs without anyone realising how well he is going.
Oakleigh Park, I had an indication that he was doing well by the
frequency of the phone calls from his father, Ian. The final one came at
around 4.30pm, when Ian could barely contain his glee by announcing, “Simon made his hundred, and I was there to see it!”.
has been unfortunate that his chances in the higher grades have often
been one-off cameo's, when others have been unavailable for a weekend.
On his 1st Grade debut, he put his hand up for the Number 3 position
against the toughest assignment in South Coast cricket...(and promptly
shouldered arms to an inswinging rocket and lost his off stump). He has
the ability to make a solid 1st Grade batsman, given the opportunity to
stake a claim, and the desire to make it happen.
These are just
two of the stars from last weekend. The Warilla victory in 1st Grade may
have drawn the headlines, but these two players have every right to
feel very pleased with their start to the season.
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Wednesday, October 12, 2005
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