Search

Sammy-Joe's explosive start

PUBLISHED: 12:04 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 July 2010

IF Sammy-Joe Avontuur was looking to make an impression on his arrival in England, it is fair to say he has succeeded.

Lowestoft's South African import fired 120 on his Norfolk Alliance debut last weekend at North Runcton and followed up with a 39-ball century in the Carter Cup against Dereham.

IF Sammy-Joe Avontuur was looking to make an impression on his arrival in England, it is fair to say he has succeeded.

Lowestoft's South African import fired 120 on his Norfolk Alliance debut last weekend at North Runcton and followed up with a 39-ball century in the Carter Cup against Dereham.

“Two centuries in your first two games, you can't wish for a better start than that,” admitted Lowestoft chairman John Mann. “He arrived late but he's settling in well and we've got high hopes for him.”

The 21-year-old plays for South Western Districts in his native country and has a batting average of 24.40 from 16 first class games.

Mann admitted he was not sure exactly what the club were getting when they signed Avontuur, but is pleased with the early return on their investment.

“It's always a gamble when you haven't seen someone and you go by statistics,” said Mann. “It's a bit different for him coming over here and playing on different types of wicket, but he's got a reasonable record in first class cricket and he's scored a first class hundred.

“He's still finding his feet because it's the first time he's been in this country and it's a big change for him, but he's getting on well with everyone at the club and that's important as well.

“We're just as pleased with what he's doing on the coaching side. That's the reason we have an overseas player, because we run the Chance to Shine scheme through the Suffolk Cricket Board. He's doing a lot of hours with that and going out to several schools.”

There is, of course, another side to Avontuur's explosive start - not only has he set a high standard to try to maintain, but other teams will now have some idea of what to expect. Mann added: “We're not getting carried away and neither is he. It's very early stages and if he had got a couple of low scores people would have said we'd made the wrong decision.

“Let's just hope he can keep it going - if he has a bad run, like most people do at some stage, that'll tell us more about him, but he seems a strong character.”

Lowestoft finished third last year, but Mann admitted maintaining Premier Division status is the immediate priority, having only been promoted back to the top flight in 2007.

“Last year we had an exceptional season and if we can match that we'll be more than satisfied. But our main aim is to stay in the Premier Division. Once we have enough points to do that, we'll go from there.”

Tomorrow sees Lowestoft host reigning champions Downham in the pick of the day's matches, while Acle and Brooke, who both picked up impressive opening day wins, face each other.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Lowestoft Journal

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists