Quickie ready to fire in bid for crown
BROTHERS veteran bowler Mark Sharrad has seen it all in a decorated career but clashes like the upcoming one-day cricket final against Laidley tomorrow still get his competitive juices flowing.
The 38-year-old told the QT that while his old body may be feeling the pinch at times, he still has no trouble getting himself up for the big games.
"Even though the body hurts, you still look forward to these games," he said.
"They don't come around too often and when they do, you've got to take them with both hands and give them a good shake. Everybody picks Laidley as the pinnacle of Ipswich cricket and when you come up against them, you've got to prove yourself. As a bowler, you look forward to bowling against these quality players."
Tomorrow's 50-over-a-side final has all the makings of a cracker.
In the first game of the season, a one-dayer, Laidley hit the winning runs off the last ball to beat Brothers by one wicket.
It doesn't get any closer than that and Sharrad is expecting something similar in the final at Baxter Oval against a Laidley side with plenty of depth.
"Laidley have got good depth and bat all the way from one to 11," he said.
"Mick Sippel has been the rock for Laidley for a few years.
"He is a prolific run-scorer and scored a hundred against Swifts on the weekend, so he is coming into form.
"When he is out there, you've got to bowl six good balls to him. Bowl five good ones and one bad one and he'll hit the bad one for a four or six.
"Mick is consistent with the ball, too.
"He bowls the right areas and makes it hard for the batters to score."
Sharrad played for Queensland Country for three years and had three seasons in Brisbane first grade with Souths.
He describes himself as a stock bowler these days and relishes playing his role in support of strike weapons Indi Singh and Craig Cumming. "If I tie down one end and the wickets go at the other end, then so be it," he said.
"That has been my role through my whole cricketing career.
"We are all aiming for the same goal… to achieve a win at the end of it.
"We've got good bowling depth at Brothers and the players in reserve grade are all pushing for spots so it puts pressure on you to perform week in and week out."
Sharrad said Gattu Sharma and left-arm orthodox spinner Dave Richardson would also be keys on Sunday.
"Gattu bowls a good yorker and can handle himself with the bat down the order, too," Sharrad said.
"And Dave Richardson is up there with the top couple of spinners in Ipswich. His experience is worth its weight in gold."