Jake enjoys Hornets sharp work chasing another finals spot
IPSWICH Hornets newcomer Jake Cross rates fast bowler Sean Lutter "sharp'' but has to be extra alert behind the stumps when another quick bowls.
"Adam Smith in the nets isn't fun to face at night,'' Cross said.
"But if you make it hard at training it's going to be easier in the game isn't it?''
That's why the former Souths wicketkeeper is enjoying his first season with a new club.
Fresh from the Hornets latest first innings victory over Redlands, Cross appreciated the professional environment at the Hornets, working with the team and last season's coach of the year Aaron Moore.
"It's really good. The boys are really good at training,'' Cross said.
"I just knew that they were a really good bunch of hardy blokes who try really hard.
"What else can you say when they made the grand final last year?
"Hopefully we can do it this year.''
Having joined the Hornets this season, Cross shared in a record-breaking 171 seventh wicket stand with captain Anthony Wilson in the previous Queensland Premier Grade game.
Cross contributed a valuable 81 against Sunshine Coast to help the Hornets secure a victory that kept their finals hopes alive.
"It was really good to share one with the captain finally,'' Cross said. "Finally get a bit of time in the middle.
"Some days you just feel like it's your time to stand up kind of thing . . . I thought I put my hand up this time.
"He (Wilson) was a big influence out there for me.
"We had some good chats.''
Aged 21, East Brisbane-based Cross provides a versatile batting option to go with his tidy wicketkeeping work at the Hornets.
"In short forms and the T20 this year, I opened,'' he said.
"Back at Souths, I was opening in the one-dayers.
"I've batted anywhere between opener and eight.
"I don't mind. Whatever is best for the team really.''
Cross has always been a wicketkeeper, starting at Wynnum before joining Souths.
He's been playing at first division level since he was 16.
His highest score is 131 not playing school cricket.
In the Queensland Premier Grade competition, his top score is 108 not out for Souths against Gold Coast last year.
He is enjoying learning from Hornets maestros Anthony and Dan Wilson, also knowing Harry Wood from his time in Taverners (junior) cricket.
Although he only had a short time to bat on Saturday, Cross was pleased with the Hornets victorious run chase against Redlands.
"The boys started off really well - Dan Wilson and Levi (Thomson-Matthews) got us to 0/80 and Levi (96) and Harry Wood (100) just settled in,'' Cross said.
"The boys did just absolutely a beautiful job today.''
The Hornets latest victory bolsters their final hopes with matches against second placed Uni and fifth-placed Sandgate Redcliffe to come.