Over in Perth, Aaron Heal was on 12th man duties for Western Australia for their opening one-day match of the season against Tasmania last Friday. The left-arm spinner who scored 600 runs for Lymington in 2002 played a major part in the Western Warriors' ING Cup success last season and was highly praised by legends Richie Benaud and Tony Grieg for his performance when the Warriers beat Queensland in the final at The Gabba in February. However, with fellow spinner Brad Hogg now recovered from the injury he sustained during the ICC Champions Trophy last month, Aaron may have to wait for another chance with the Warriors. Unfortunately WA fell to a 62 run defeat against Tasmania with former Bashley star Luke Ronchi falling first ball of the innings.
Martin Hunt has had a tough introduction to Australian club cricket as he embarks on a winter with Sydney side Balmain. After three weeks of the new Aussie season Martin finally reached the crease this weekend during Balmain's Third Grade fixture against Western Suburbs. The sturdy little left-hander battled it out for 20 overs before eventually departing for just 12 as the Tigers, chasing a huge target of 312, attempted to stave off defeat. The previous weekend, during the same match (which sounds a bit odd in itself!) Marty turned his arm over for the first time, bowling four overs for 20 runs.
Martin's opening match for Balmain at the beginning of October saw the Tigers roar to a 7 wicket win over Fairfield-Liverpool, although Marty was not requierd to bat or bowl. Then, ironically in a country where we seem to think the sun always shines, Balmain's second fixture against Northern Districts was washed out without a ball being bowled.
Meanwhile Karl Whatham has enjoyed a relatively successful return home after his summer with Lymington. He top-scored in Balmain's two opening First Grade matches, although it wasn't enough to prevent the Tigers - minus the departed New South Wales opener Greg Mail - from sinking to comprehensive defeats. There was better news for the Tigers in their third match when they defeated Western Suburbs in a high scoring encounter. The Tigers smashed 369 for 8 before bowling out the Wests for 349 with one-time Lymington target Brendan Drew taking 4 for 104.
Aaron received some encouraging reviews recently when his bowling helped Western Australia finish second in an Under 23 tournament in Darwin. He has also been working on his batting and has been promoted to number four by his new Rockingham-Mandurah coach 'Blocker' Wilson. The move appeared to pay off against Wanneroo in Rocko's first match when Aaron made a half century before being run out.
We hope to keep you updated with the progress of Marty, Karl and Aaron as the winter progresses.