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O’Keefe and Lenton picked for upcoming Test and BBL matches

It’s been a great couple of days for the Waratahs with confirmation that 1st grade stars Jay Lenton and Steve O’Keefe have been included in the Sydney Thunder and Australian test team squads.

Although only selected in the final 13 thus far, Lenton has been confirmed to be playing in the New Years day match for the Sydney Thunder against the Perth Scorchers at the WACA as the only specialist wicketkeeper in the squad. He will be replacing Jake Doran behind the stumps.

It is a great reward for his consistent performances with the Tahs in the T20 format over the last 3 years. He hit 215 runs in the 2015/16 Kingsgrove Sports T20 competition, with a strike rate of 165.4 runs per hundred balls, the highest of anyone who scored more than 130 runs.

He backed that up again this year to be the competitions 5th highest run scorer with 208 runs at a strike rate of 138.7.

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He is also the only player to have scored more than 1 hundred in the history of the SCA T20 competition.

Add to this his flawless work behind the stumps and it makes a pretty strong case for inclusion.

It’s also a great vote of confidence in those that perform consistently well in the Kingsgrove Sports T20 competition. There is no doubt that we all want to see those performing at the Sydney Grade level get their chance in the BBL, and Jay has certainly done this over the last few years.

But in ever better news, Steve O’Keefe has been added to the Australian Test team squad for the Pink test at the SCG starting on the 3rd of January. ‘SOK’ was selected to play in the corresponding match at the SCG last year but didn’t get much game time due to rain.

His consistent performances with the ball at first class level have been too hard to ignore, and he is putting huge pressure on Nathan Lyon to be the No. 1 spinner in Australia.

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SOK took 17 first class wickets at 24.64 in 2915-16 and has backed that up again this year so far.

At the moment it is not clear if SOK will play, as it will depend on the team structure that the Australian selectors decide on. Most likely the nature of the SCG wicket will have an impact on the team makeup. The current suspicion is that if the wickets looks to be a turner, both SOK and Lyon will play with Hilton Cartwright playing as a batting all-rounder. This may unfortunately be at the expense of fellow Manly boy Jackson Bird.

Let’s hope both SOK and Birdy get the opportunity to play.

Best of luck to both Jay and Steve

Go Manly!

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