Shepparton’s Ramadan Yze proved he is more than a match for Australia’s finest country cricketers, following a tenacious performance at the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Queensland.By Damen Francis
Shepparton’s Ramadan Yze proved he is more than a match for Australia’s finest country cricketers, following a tenacious performance at the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Queensland.
The Central Park-St Brendan’s all-rounder was unsure how he would fare against such high-calibre opposition, but did not look out of place wearing the Big V.
In six matches, Yze took 10 wickets and scored 72 runs to help Victoria win five of seven matches and finish second overall, atoning for last year’s horror showing in the process.
A disappointing defeat to Queensland in the second round of Twenty20 matches ultimately cost Victoria a chance at finishing on top of the ladder, but a win against undefeated champion NSW on the final day would have capped an outstanding carnival.
It was not to be, though, as NSW chased down Victoria’s 292 in the final over to complete a clean sweep of the competition.
Yze branded the defeat ‘‘shattering’’, but said it was a rare low point in his experience.
‘‘We wanted to win so badly, to show NSW that we could beat them even though they won the carnival,’’ Yze said.
‘‘(Victoria) came last last year and went about it very differently this year.
‘‘We were pleased with finishing second, but you go away to win it.’’
After being overlooked with bat and ball in the first match, Yze worked his way into the side and grew in confidence as the carnival went on.
A three-wicket haul against Western Australia got him going with the ball in game two, but batting in an unfamiliar position in the lower-order made finding any rhythm with the bat a challenge.
An unbeaten 32 in the penultimate game against ACT was followed by a blistering 22 off just seven deliveries against NSW to show what he was capable of.
The hard-hitting was backed up with figures of 4-63 in Yze’s best individual performance of the carnival, even if he did have the ball in his hands when NSW hit the winning runs.
‘‘I would have liked to bat at four or five at some point to spend some time out in the middle, but that’s the way it goes,’’ Yze said.
‘‘Coming in late is a bit of a no-win situation, I had to try and throw the bat a bit, but it was hard for (captain) Heath (Pyke) to set the batting line-up with so many good batsmen.’’
Among his highlights for the carnival was being out in the middle when Bobby Wilson reached 200 against South Australia, and Yze hopes to get a second crack at the experience next year.
‘‘I just happened to go out there when Bobby was on 199 and scampered through for a quick single to get him to 200,’’ Yze said.
‘‘I’ve seen someone hit 200 before, but it’s always a special moment.
‘‘It was a really good experience and I would like to do it again .
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