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O’Keefe’s Break’s Records Galore in 9 Wicket Haul

Manly Warringah Waratahs Chairman of Selectors Chris Hynes has the toughest job in the club.

Putting together the teams each week is a thankless task. Player’s pulling out mid-match due to injury, forgetting they are going away and representative commitments…. it seems as though the job never ends sometime.

Last round against Campbelltown was no different. Players out left right and centre, probably one of our toughest rounds player number wise.

But then came through the news that was like sweet nectar to Hynsey’s ears…… SOK is available.

With the Indian tour coming up, and Steve O’Keefe a sure thing, SOK decided in consultation with Cricket Australia that he needed more red ball practice than white ball work. So out of the BBL SOK went and into the Waratahs 1st grade side he came.

The message was clear…. give him as many overs as we could. With our year on the line due to losing some unlosable matches, giving one of the country’s top spinners plenty of overs was not something we needed to be asked twice about.

With skipper Adam Crosthwaite winning the toss and deciding to bat, SOK came on after the first wicket fell, ironically caught by him off the bowling off Matty White.

Campbelltown have struggled a little this year but actually didn’t start too badly and at one stage were 1 for 56. SOK got his first wicket when Mitchell Caruthers hit one straight back to SOK for a caught and bowled. 2 for 56 and SOK was staring something special.

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Over the next 3 hours, SOK bowled 29.5 overs straight out of 69.5 overs and systematically dismantled the Ghosts batting line-up. He took 9 for 54 including the wicket of former international spinner Monty Panesar.

it was a spell for the ages. Along the way SOK collected the 4th best figures in a 1st grade match for the Waratahs behind Jack Gregory (9 for 23 in 1923/24), Russell McKool (9 for 38 in 1983/84) and Jeff Macpherson (9 for 46 in 1974/75).

It was also the best figures in any grade since the 9 for 33 taken by Andrew Lamb in 2nd grade in 2001/02 against Wests.

It was a great tune up for the upcoming Indian Test tour and SOK was very happy with his efforts.

“I said to Crossy during the week that I just wanted to get some overs under my belt” said SOK.

“It is no secret that my body has struggled a little over the last few months and, coupled with Big Bash cricket, meant I hadn’t bowled too many long spells.

“Over in India I will need to show I can keep the pressure on over long spells, and that’s what I wanted to do on Saturday and Sunday.

“I was also happy to get the win for the Tahs. I have won a Premiership with a lot of these boys and it was one of the best things I have ever done, so I was happy to contribute to the season”.

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Ironically it was also SOK’s first 5 wicket haul for the Tahs. He hasn’t played a whole lot with us over the last few years and as a result his previous best was only 4 for 12 back in 2009/10.

Everyone here at our club knows that SOK is a great man and enjoy’s being part of our club and culture. He is known as a good man who will always hang around for a beer and a chat with the lads around the club. There was no more testament to that fact than the time he gave to a couple of the Campbelltown players after the match to talk about their cricket and provide advice wherever he could.

It is also great to see SOK taking the time out to help others within our club. SOK actually did a one-on-one session with fellow left arm orthodox spinner Sam Alexander on the Monday after the match against Campbelltown. Don’t know how Samoz scored that one but it’s a massive credit to SOK for putting his hand up to help out.

Maybe Hynsey will be sweating on another left arm ortho coming back from rep duty in future years.

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