MAKING your first grade debut in Sydney is daunting enough without the added challenge of having to bowl to an Australian player.
This was the challenge facing former Cavaliers paceman Matty White on Sunday when made his first grade debut in Sydney grade cricket and had to bowl to Brad Haddin.
White, 23, stepped up to the top grade for Sydney in their rain-affected one-day match against Northern District at Mark Taylor Oval.
Sydney lost the game but still qualified for this Sunday’s quarter-finals.
White finished with figures of 0-25 off four overs, which he admitted he wasn’t happy with.
But it wasn’t all bad for the right-arm paceman.
He loved the step up to the top grade after being a consistent performer in second grade this season.
“It was a massive step up, especially when you’ve got Brad Haddin at the other end,” White laughed.
“The boys said I didn’t bowl too bad. It’s not often you have a first class batsmen at the other end.”
Sydney lost the toss and were sent in to bat and reached 7-135 off 38 overs in a stop-start innings due to rain, with White not required to bat.
Northern District batted well, with Haddin scoring 37 off 38 balls.
White said Haddin was in Twenty20 mode looking to score quickly.
“What an opportunity to play such a great player. He was just on fire,” White said.
Northern District reached 5-139 to snare the win in the 30th over.
White said he loved playing the top grade.
“It was such an honour,” White said.
“I’ve been working for that for years. I’ve been playing second grade all year and going well. There was a couple of injuries and I got an opportunity to step up. Now I have to try and keep my spot.”
In second grade this year, White has taken 18 wickets in 10 matches, including his best figures this season of 4-20 against Penrith.
The Sydney first grade side is to be named today but White is expected to be there for Saturday’s two-day match, which has been reduced to a one-day game, as well as Sunday’s one-day competition quarter-final.
Sydney will take on Northern District again on Sunday and White is confident his side can come out on top this time.
“We’ve had our chats this week about what we can do. We’re all working on our one percenters to get the result we want,” he said.