Sport

Scorching form noticed

SURPRISE CALL-UP: Ben Smith is making his debut for the Scorchers.
SURPRISE CALL-UP: Ben Smith is making his debut for the Scorchers. Brett Wortman

BEN Smith admits he never even entertained thoughts of playing first grade.

So the right-arm medium-pacer was understandably shocked when he got the nod to replace Paul Cash for the Sunshine Coast's round 10 clash against XXXX first grade front-runner Toombul at Buderim this weekend.

"I certainly didn't expect it," he said. "I've been working hard the last two seasons just hoping to get a run in second grade.

"There was a couple of bowlers out in seconds earlier in the season so I was lucky enough to get a go there.

"I've since been bowling really well so am stoked to get a run with first grade. I never thought I'd be playing for first grade for the Scorchers so I'm rapt."

But Smith's recent form is certainly enough to warrant his inclusion.

The 24-year-old hit a purple patch for Gympie at the end of last season, bagging 15 wickets in three games.

As a result, he was thrust into seconds for this season. And he's made every post a winner.

Smith is the leading wicket taker in second grade, claiming 28 wickets at an average of 15.79 in all formats of the game.

But it's his figures of 24 wickets at 12.79 in two-day matches which are particularly appealing.

Now it's hoped he can carry that sort of form into first grade, alongside a couple of other young bowlers who have recently been promoted, Sam Gardiner and James Bazley.

"I think if we just keep bowling the same as we have been in

second grade it shouldn't be too different," he said.

"Obviously bad balls are going to be punished a lot more but as long as we keep doing the basics well it should all come together.

"Toombul are the top team, so I really don't know what I'm up against to be honest

ebecause I've never played first grade before."

Smith believes the Scorchers' relatively inexperienced bowling line-up must try to frustrate a strong Toombul line-up which includes Chris Sabburg, who is averaging more than 60 this season.

"Teams make a lot of runs in Brisbane but come here where it's a slower deck and a slower field and the average score is only around 180 or 200.

"Our aim is to make 200-250 and that will be a very defendable total.

"Our bowlers need to be more patient than their batsmen so the plan is to bowl in areas to tie them down and that will bring about the bad shots."

Bazley is in the side for Ashley Renouf (knee) while opener Julian Nielsen returns to the sixth-placed side at the expense of Dylan Pinkstone.

Seamer Ashley Gray is in for key batsman James Henry, who is in Sydney for the weekend.

Paceman Matt Gale, who was man of the match for the Queensland Bulls on Wednesday, will be promoted up the order.

SCORCHERS: J Nielsen, S Northeast, L Waugh, S Ledger, M Gale, A Day, A Gray, J Bazley, G Flegler (c), S Gardiner, B Smith




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My husband lasted 6 weeks as a stay at home dad'

APN Hey Mummy Feature for online - stock images. Katie Dykes being interviewed for the webisodes. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

FROM the outside, being a stay at home mum looks like a breeze.

THE EXPERT: Stop judging working mothers

SUPER MUMS: Being a working mums comes down to perfecting time management.

"WORKING for money is all right; so is working because you want to.”

OPINION: How to prepare your child for day care

Your kids will love childcare, but it may take some adjusting.

GETTING your child ready for day care is vital.

Health and nutrition with kids - how do you balance it?

HOW important is health and nutrition in your household?

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Technology and kids: Do you ever cut their wi-fi?

Check out our new video series featuring mums having a chat

Pisasale to deliver infrastructure windfall in budget

REVEALED: Mayor Paul Pisasale is talking it up ahead of today’s budget announcement.

Mayor to spend up on big ticket infrastructure items

Pot grower jailed and it's not because he got high

NO TOLERANCE: A man has been jailed after breaching a suspended sentence handed down for producing marijuana.

He just couldn't stay out of trouble. Now, he's going to jail

WHAT'S ON: Things to do in Ipswich these school holidays

File photo

Here are 15 ways to keep the kids busy these school holidays

Latest deals and offers

John Oliver on Brexit

John Oliver tries to explain the Brexit result.

John Oliver explains the fallout from Brexit on Last Week Tonight.

Teresa Harding for Blair

LNP candidate for Blair Teresa Harding outlines why voters should elect her in the...

Jonathan Emms for Blair

Jonathan Emms is running as an independent candidate for Blair.

Three bedroom, 1100sqm block: Is this Qld's cheapest home?

BARGAIN BUY: Is this North Bundaberg property the cheapest home in Queensland?

Becoming a real estate mogul is all about risk and reward

PROPERTY BOOM: Coast prices set to skyrocket

Like other areas in south-east Queensland, the Sunshine Coast is at the start of the upturn on the property clock.

Values predicted to rise 25-33%