KINROSS finger-spinner Rowan Wilson has gone from fill-in to front-line spinner in a matter of weeks.
The 16-year-old was plucked from obscurity for Orange’s Mitchell Cricket Council colts major semi-final a fortnight ago, chosen from Kinross’ second grade line-up to nullify the Bluebags’ drastic shortage of players.
“That was a pretty ordinary game to play in,” Wilson laughed, providing the understatement of the season.
Mudgee piled on 1-307 from its 50 overs, including 192 from hard-hitting opener Cameron Cox. Orange battled its way to 9-174 in reply.
However, Wilson provided a glimmer of light in the thrashing. He returned 0-66 from his 10 overs, an economical spell in comparison to his teammates. He also smacked 19 at the end of Orange’s innings.
Wilson wasn’t required to bowl or bat in Orange’s mauling of Bathurst in the preliminary final last week, and holds his spot for tomorrow’s grand final in Mudgee on the back of his obvious potential.
“I was pretty surprised when I got the original call-up,” Wilson said.
“I haven’t played much first grade, so I wasn’t expecting it.”
Based on last game, Wilson predicted a green-top at Victoria Park tomorrow.
“In the semi-final it didn’t take much spin,” he said.
“Considering they scored 300 you’d expect them to produce a similar deck. In that case my role will be to bowl as economically as possible. Basically I need to try and leak as few runs as I can, they can certainly score very quickly, and hopefully I’ll pick up some wickets along the way.”
Orange boasts a near-full strength line-up for the grand final, a stark contrast to the team which took the field a fortnight ago.
Regular Bluebags Sam Nicholls, Charles Litchfield, James Ryan, Hamish Finlayson, Jake Pauletto and Jono Warren were all missing from the major-semi, and all but Finlayson and Ryan return. Finlayson is on university placement, while Ryan has a shoulder complaint.
“We were pretty short last time we played them,” Wilson said.
“With a lot of guys coming back, I’d fully expect us to be able to roll them this time.”
n ORANGE: John Warrington (c), Charlie Litchfield, Cam Williams, Toby Polkinghorne, Jake Pauletto, Jono Warren, Andrew Johnson, Max Dodds, Sam Nicholls, Braden Riles, Rowan Wilson.
MUDGEE: Troy Kenny (c), Cameron Cox, Ryan Kurtz, Andrew Best, Stuart Fredericks, Hayden Cox, Harry Ottley, Brad Golden, James Ford, Nick Chapman, Luke Norris, Sam Joyce.