10 out of 10 for a veteran who returned just for fun

MEET MR PERFECT: Jason Donnelly knocked over 10 batsmen to record the perfect bowling statistics in the Warehouse cricket competition.
MEET MR PERFECT: Jason Donnelly knocked over 10 batsmen to record the perfect bowling statistics in the Warehouse cricket competition. Kate Czerny

IF you drove past D.M.Henderson Oval over at Macgregor last Saturday, you would have seen a group of C-grade cricketers playing out their regular weekend match.

Macgregor was playing Danger Island and the match was evenly poised with Danger Island leading by 11 runs after scoring 252 runs in the first innings the week before.

As their opening batsmen walked to the crease to try and push for victory, the ball was tossed to Sadliers Crossing's 44-year-old medium pacer Jason Donnelly.

After 10 years away from cricket, he had been lured back to the Warehouse competition by a group of mates.

He must have eaten an extra Weet Bix on Saturday morning because from his opening ball he had the opposition ducking for cover.


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Two wickets fell in that opening barrage.

Fired up with his success, he charged in for his next over and he soon had his third victim.

Jason was smokin' hot as the wickets tumbled one after another until his figures stood at 9-93 after only 12 overs.

Could he do the impossible and dismiss the entire team?

The crowd building up on the boundary ropes didn't have to wait long to find out the answer to that.

A loose shot from the first ball of his lucky 13th over was scooped up in the midfield by Amara Chitari.

Jason Donnelly had done something bowlers dream of doing one day.

He'd claimed every wicket (10-93) in an innings, sweeping out the opposition in 73 balls.

In the 80-year history of his club, it's a feat that only one or two have ever managed.

As his teammate grabbed the final catch, those watching streamed on to the field.


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Both teams chaired him from the field in recognition that something special had just happened.

"I returned to play cricket just for the fun of it and never expected to celebrate something like this," Jason said.

"It was special and I am glad I was talked back into playing."

He has had some offers to move up into the higher grades.

However, the likeable builder says he'll just be staying put in C-grade, enjoying cricket with his mates.

That obviously spells bad news for those currently playing for opposition teams in that grade.

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