SA leggie Pope sets Shield bowling record

Lloyd Pope, the youngest bowler to take seven wickets in a Sheffield Shield innings, is having a chuckle.
成都桑拿

The South n bagged a record-breaking 7-87 on Thursday against Queensland.

Pope is the only 18-year-old in the Shield’s 126-year history to capture seven wickets in an innings – he was oblivious to his record until told by a journalist.

But that’s not why he’s laughing.

Pope giggles when told he’s being called a saviour of n cricket – a cult hero; a star; prodigy; wizard.

Heck, some punters are even calling him a Test cricketer this summer – all this, before he finishes his second first-class game.

“Oh, right,” he said with a chuckle when told of social media reaction to his feat.

“I haven’t really checked my phone too much … a couple of my mates send me through some things. I think I am on Twitter but I don’t really use it too much.”

Pope’s stunning haul helped to bowl Queensland out for 231 at Adelaide Oval, with the Redbacks 0-39 at stumps on the opening day.

Aged 18 years and 328 days, he’s the youngest to collect seven wickets in a Shield innings, eclipsing the benchmark set by famed larrikin Doug Walters, who was 19 years and 50 days when taking 7-63 in 1964-65 for NSW.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Pope said.

“I don’t really follow those statistics like that. I’m a cricket nuffie but I don’t sort of hunt through the books and look for records or things like that.

“That’s the first time I heard it. It’s pretty good, I guess.”

The self-effacing Pope still pinches himself that he’s even playing on the hallowed Adelaide Oval, let alone setting records.

“Just walking out there at the start of play and realising my name is on the scoreboard and that’s it happening – it’s an amazing feeling,” he said.

“It’s a strange feeling to have cameras and things in my face.

“But I try and take it both ways. I know some days it will be another bloke’s turn and they will take five-for.

“I just take it as it comes and, if it doesn’t, just try and keep working on my game.”

Three of Pope’s victims fell to vicious wrong’uns, including the prized scalp of top-scorer Joe Burns, who made 64.

All of Queensland’s batsmen had trouble picking his much-googled googly but the modest Pope put it down to luck.

“Some of them were a bit lucky off the wicket. Some were turning and some weren’t – favourable conditions,” he said.