Spin star: Alec Williams in action with the bat for Murwillumbah.
Spin star: Alec Williams in action with the bat for Murwillumbah.

Teenage bowler is new spin king

ALEC Williams led Murwillumbah’s talented teenage brigade to their first win of the LJ Hooker League season on Saturday, an upset over top-four side Ballina Bears.

In arguably the best spell of leg-spin bowling seen in Australia since the retirement of Shane Warne, the 15-year-old Williams tore through Ballina’s middle order at Reg Dalton Oval, claiming 5-37 in a devastating eight-over spell as the visitors were bundled out for 87.

“I brought him on early and didn’t care how many runs he conceded ... I was happy for him to keep on learning his craft,” Murwillumbah captain Andrew Bennett said.

“He did go for a couple of big sixes and his first four overs technically weren’t that great but his last four overs were fantastic.

“It was his first four overs where he got all his wickets though.”

While Williams was the chief destroyer, 16-year-old quick Ryan McCloy also impressed in his LJ Hooker League debut and was unlucky not to finish with a wicket, although he did claim four magnificent catches.

Batting hero Josh Sigley also chipped in with the ball, taking 2-10 off five overs, while Paul Swift continued his great form with the ball, taking 2-8 off 3.5 overs.

Stacked with junior representative players, Murwillumbah have played some good cricket this season but it had gone unrewarded until Saturday.

Having dominated with the ball, the home side began their run chase in superb fashion with Sigley (34) setting the standard.

Sigley enjoyed solid partnerships with Sam Reading (9) and Dominic Edwards (18), but when he was dismissed with Murwillumbah at 74, it triggered a mini-collapse and four wickets were lost without a run being added to the total.

Bennett (8no) then restored order, combining with Swift (3no) to overhaul the target.

Despite the win Murwillumbah remains on the bottom of the points ladder, but Bennett said results were not his priority this season.

“I am not that worried if the results don’t come our way and honestly, I didn’t care too much whether we won or not on Saturday,” he said.

“This season isn’t about whether we win or not, it is about getting these young blokes playing some good, hard cricket.”

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