MR VERSATILE: A file picture of Ballina Bears all-rounder Sam Adams in action with the bat.
MR VERSATILE: A file picture of Ballina Bears all-rounder Sam Adams in action with the bat.

Sam knows the ropes

THERE’S not too much Sam Adams hasn’t tried during his short but illustrious cricket career so far.

The Ballina Bears all-rounder has bowled off-spin, leg-spin and pace since he started playing at the age of 13.

The 23-year-old had a season in England during the Australian winter and came back a changed man.

He was bowling off-spin when he left these shores and came back bowling pace.

Whatever he learned by playing with the English club Rothey, in the Sussex League, Adams put into practice against Alstonville on the first day of their two-day Far North Coast LJ Hooker League match last Saturday.

He took 6-26 off 16 overs to help skittle Alstonville for just 151. According to Adams, he didn’t do too much apart from put the ball on the spot.

But he’s probably under-selling the experience he gained by bowling on helpful pitches in England.

“They already had a spinner when I got there, but they were lacking another pace bowler so I put my hand up to do the job,” Adams said.

“I mainly learned how to bowl seam a little bit and a couple of other things. It’s a pretty similar standard to here, but it’s hard to tell because the pitches are a lot different.”

Adams took 30-odd scalps in England and was the league’s fourth highest wicket-taker. But it was his combination with spinner Luke Barnard that proved particularly productive.

“Over there, there are no restrictions, so even if we were playing 50-over games I would open the bowling and bowl 25 overs straight,” he said.

“Barney would be at the other end bowling spin and he ended up taking 50 wickets to be the leading wicket-taker in the league.”

Barnard and fellow Rothey player Josh Fleming should arrive in Ballina in the next week or so to continue an exchange that began last season.

“I lived with Josh when I was over there and they should arrive soon, which will be great,” Adams said.

Ballina Bears will resume today at3-90 and should take the first innings points, if not push for an outright.


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