Lockrose looks to have bright future

Otago Neil Broom,left celebrates rookie bowler Ben Lockrose wicket during the Otago Volts against...
Otago Neil Broom,left celebrates rookie bowler Ben Lockrose wicket during the Otago Volts against Auckland 20/20 Cricket match at Molyneux Park on Thursday. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Never mind the result — Otago unveiled a new left-arm spinner and the 17-year-old looks to have a bright future.

He nabbed a wicket with just his fifth ball and his return of one for 23 deserved a better result than a seven-wicket loss to Auckland.

The Aces were too good for the struggling Volts in a twenty20 match at Molyneux Park yesterday. But the crowd of about 1800 may have received a glimpse of a future star.

Ben Lockrose, aged 17 years, 279 days, joined the likes of Glenn Turner and Ken Rutherford in making his provincial debut for Otago before his 18th birthday.

He is in the New Zealand team for the Under-19 World Cup and has been taking plenty of wickets for Taieri in  club cricket, so it was a matter of when, not if, he would make his debut.

But the Otago camp kept his elevation a tightly-guarded secret and left his name off the team sheet until game day.

"It kind of came out of the blue and was a bit overwhelming," Lockrose said.

"I was told to just keep doing what I do and don’t try and change how I bowl."

Otago skipper Rob Nicol wisely opted to give the nervous but excited teenager the first over and what an over it was.He darted it in nice and flat and picked up the wicket of Ben Horne when he skied the ball to Shawn Hicks.

"It was a little bit slower and I saw it go up. There was a lot going through my mind when I saw it go up. Hicksy took a good catch and I was pretty stoked."

So was Volts coach Rob Walter. It was one of the few highlights in another disappointing outing for his side.

"To go for 23 from four and get a wicket in your first over was an ideal start, wasn’t it?" Walter said.

"I think there is a hell of a lot to work with — and when you make your debut at 17 there is a lot ahead of you."

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