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Allen casts a spell of spin

Young leg-spin bowler Jake Allen had a day out on Saturday when he claimed five wickets for for Old Students against Kyabram in Cricket Shepparton's Haisman Shield.

DAMEN FRANCIS December 3, 2013 4:15am

Developing leg-spinner Jake Allen took 5-50 against Kyabram on Saturday.


Cricket is a game of patience, not least for leg-spin bowlers.

That virtue is beginning to pay off for budding Old Students leg-spinner Jake Allen, who secured his maiden five-wicket haul in Saturday’s Haisman Shield clash against Kyabram.

Allen, 17, made the most of favourable conditions at Kyabram Recreation Reserve, finishing with figures of 5-50 from 16.4 overs.

His ability to take wickets at regular intervals played a major role in the Students restricting the Redbacks’ total to 212, despite it being a batting track.

‘‘They came out all right,’’ Allen said.

‘‘At Ky it was awesome, the mediums didn’t get much joy out of the pitch, so I got a fair bit of a bowl and the ball kept kicking up, I’m not sure if it was overspin or what.

‘‘I was really just concentrating on bowling in good areas.’’

Allen drew false shots from Kyle Mueller and Kyabram skipper Alec Young, with good drift and bounce, before turning deliveries through the defences of Jason Parsons, Brad Ryan and Jack Donnell.

The wickets took his season tally to 11 in four A-grade appearances, having picked up three in five in his debut campaign last season.

Allen rather fell into the craft of leg-spin bowling about five years ago, but hasn’t looked back and said he thrived on the challenges it presented.

‘‘I used to be real chubby when I was younger, so I tried bowling leg-spin in under-13s,’’ he said.

‘‘Dad helped me a fair bit, he watched some videos on the internet and what not, but the rest I’ve sort of taught myself.

‘‘It’s very difficult at stages, especially in A-grade. One week you can be rubbish, the next week is good, (but) I’ve sort of found a middle ground at the moment.

‘‘Older blokes can go after you a bit, but I found it good playing B-grade where David Earl helped me.

‘‘Sometimes they go after me, sometimes they don’t. It’s always interesting. You can have a bit of fun with it, it’s not like pace bowling where you get back to your mark and keep running in and hit the same spot.’’

Allen has played the last two matches alongside his younger brother Sam — a wicketkeeper — which he described as ‘‘the dream for most cricketers’’.

The two have not yet combined for an A-grade wicket, but there’s no doubt Sam’s gloves will be at the ready for the first caught behind or stumping opportunity that comes his way.

Allen is just happy getting the basics right and using subtle variations to catch batsmen out.

‘‘I’ve not really thrown a wrong ’un up yet, I’ve more just focused on my stock ball,’’ he said.

‘‘I’m just working on a general leg break, putting it on a good length to get the batsman to come forward.

‘‘You’ve got try and bring them out of their crease and if they stay back you try to keep it fuller and use flight and drift if you can get it. It drifts when you get the seam position right and then if you can hit the seam and get a bit of kick that’s good, too.

‘‘A lot of young kids seem to be bowling (leg-spin) a bit at the moment. It’s good for the competition and hopefully there’s some good ones in the future.’’

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