Matt's the 'big wicket'
WHEN Matt Kroehnert walks to the crease, opposition bowlers know they are in for a challenge.
They also know he’s the ‘big wicket’.
The 21-year old Tucabia Blue captain and star batsman is currently leading the run scoring in the Premier League Cricket competition with 500 runs.
Kroehnert’s no-nonsense approach to batting has him 40 runs clear of his nearest rival, South Services’ Brett Woods (460), with Easts captain Doug Harris on 441.
In recent years cricket bats have changed dramatically; large sweet spots, plenty of willow throughout the blade and extra thick edges.
But for Kroehnert his trusty Slazenger pro-series blade does just fine.
“I haven’t really thought about getting a new bat, my Slazenger is 8-9 years old. The ball still comes off pretty good even though it’s almost falling apart,” Kroehnert said.
Some batsmen show signs of nerves, others can’t keep still when waiting their turn to bat, but for Kroehnert it’s a matter of staying relaxed.
“I try to remain calm and just chill,” he said.
Kroehnert is no stranger to picking up batting awards. He won the award in 05/06 and again in 08/09. Last year, Kroehnert amassed 622 runs and is in with a real chance of surpassing that feat this season.
Westlawn’s left-arm bowling enigma John Blanch, with 35 wickets, heads the bowling but mystery still remains as to what he actually bowls.
Looking at Blanch from the boundary fence it is difficult to put his bowling into a category. He appears to bowl medium-pace spin, in the same mould as legendary English bowler of the late ’60s and ’70s, Derek Underwood.
Blanch, however, is quick to point out he bowls seamers and not spin.
“Everyone seems to class me as a spin bowler or left-arm medium but I bowl cutters,” he said.
For Blanch, the secret to his success is simple – attack the batsmen and get them to play shots.
“I try to attack all the time, I’d like to think I’m more of a wicket-taker than someone who dries up the runs,” he said.
Blanch says he prefers bowling on pitches which provide seam and bounce.
“I prefer a bit of life in the deck and I rely on rolling my fingers across the seam to get cut. The ball has been coming out of the hand a lot better this season, which has been great,” he said.
Blanch added he does not model himself on any bowler in particular but noticed he has a grip similar to New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori.
Blanch has a commanding lead over the rest of the pack, with Brothers opening bowler Ryan Lynch (28) and Harwood’s evergreen spin bowler Matt Young (26).
Tucabia Blue’s Brett O’Connor ,with 13 catches, will be hard to peg back in the fielding award. O’Connor’s safe hands have him five a head of Luke Chard from Westlawn. The wicket keeping award has Clarence River representative Rod Mitchell on top with 17 dismissals.