PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Is this Gympie's version of Warnie?
CRICKET: Colts off-spinner Andrew "Chappy” Mallet took 23 wickets last season and this year he has started on the right foot, taking five against Kenilworth last Saturday.
The humbled bowler said he could not take full credit as the fielders played their part.
"It's a team effort, it always will be. If our players are keeping and holding their catches, I am getting wickets,” he said.
As Chappy ripped through the Kenilworth batsmen, there were a few wickets that stood out.
"Any wickets where I think as a bowler you either break their stumps or caught and bowled or LBW, you feel as though you own more of that wicket,” he said.
"There were two of those, one was plum LB and one I caught myself and those were the highlights.”
Getting the ball to dance off the cracks of the pitch is what Shane Warne mastered and Chappy has his own tips to bowl the perfect ball.
"If I watch great spin bowlers over the years, whether it is Warnie or whoever, some can almost make the ball dance hitting a rock or a crack every time,” he said.
"What I find is to deceive the batsman. Whether that is with flight or whether that is with a slow delivery or with the ball spinning.
"If I know there is a batsman at the crease that loves to hit fast balls over the head of bowlers and out of the ground, I am not going to bowl with him with any pace at all. I am going to take the pace right off it and do enough with the ball so he miss-hits whatever he hits.”
Despite being one of the reigning premiers' key bowlers, Chappy is still relatively new to cricket.
The Gympie Times Athlete of the Year nominations
"I am nearly 49, so I am late in the career if anything. I am an indoor cricketer, I played a lot of indoor cricket in my 20s and 30s at quite a good representative level,” he said.
"I never started playing outdoor cricket until I joined Colts five years ago. I am an indoor cricketer at heart and I love to field in around the pitch, either slips or gully or point.”
Chappy said there were a few notable differences between outdoor and indoor.
"This (outdoor) is more like a chess match quite often. You still have to use cricket skills, the application is the same, but you have to outlast and out think what the opponents are thinking and that has a lot to do with your positional play and where you put your fielders,” he said.
"Recognising early where a batsman strikes a ball and what his favourite areas are, the zones he likes to hit into and what sort of a bowler he likes. Give him the opposite, put a fielder where he likes to hit.
"Also lasting that day. You have to endure yourself and pace yourself. Am I drinking enough water, am I alert enough? You can wait three hours for one catch so you have to stay alert as well.”
Colts take on Murgon at Murgon Sports Ground tomorrow at 12.30pm. Valleys verse Kenilworth at Kozminsky Oval, One Mile tomorrow at 12.30pm and Harlequins battle against Wests at Spencer Oval, One Mile tomorrow at 12.30pm.
Chappy is the 12th The Gympie Times Player of the Week.