WEST Warrnambool teenager Ben Threlfall is having a season to remember.
After becoming the youngest player in more than 50 years to score a ton in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association division one competition, the 16-year-old had the game of his life in the final round under 17 match against Nestles on Sunday. Better known for his batting than bowling, Ben finished with remarkable figures of 5-1 off 3.4 overs after coming on first change with his medium pacers as the Panthers skittled Nestles for 42.
The skipper then made a rapid-fire 46 not out before declaring at 1-80.
He then stunned the Factory with 4-14 off 5.4 overs, including a hat-trick, as Nestles was dismissed for 72, leaving his side with 45 to win.
Chasing a crucial outright win, Ben then made an unbeaten 12 as the Panthers raced to 0-46 in six overs to claim maximum points and jump from fourth on the ladder to second, setting up a semi-final showdown with Wesley-CBC on Saturday.
Ben said he was surprised with his match return of 9-15 off 9.2 overs and a total of 58 runs without being dismissed.
“It was a good day,” Ben said. “I just got lucky.”
He said his focus at the start of the match was to win it and secure a finals berth.
Nestles at one stage was 0-32 before Ben introduced himself into the attack.
“There was a little bit in the pitch but I sort of put the ball in the right areas,” he said.
“We had to win it to make the finals. When we got them out we just thought about getting the runs.”
But when they got them so quickly they started to believe in an outright result.
Again Ben bowled first change.
“I wasn’t expecting that (the hat-trick), I just cleaned up the tail,” he said.
Ben said he and his side were excited about the first day of Saturday’s semi-final against Wesley-CBC, a team they haven’t faced this season because when they were drawn to play earlier in the season they split the points with a lack of numbers preventing a game.
Ben’s success just hasn’t been confined to West Warrnambool.
He was also part of the WDCA under 17 country week winning team last month.