New South Wales and Australian Under 19 allrounder Jack Edwards was once more the main attraction during a BBL Pathways fixture on Friday featuring some of the best male cricketers from across the country.
Edwards, from the Manly-Warringah club in the McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket competition, smashed 99 not out from just 60 deliveries opening the batting for the Ponting XI, who were playing the Gilchrist XI. His innings comprised five fours and just as many sixes.
Earlier this season he starred with the bat for NSW Metro in the final of the recent Under 19 National Championships and last season he dominated for the Australian Under 19s against Sri Lanka.
The BBL Pathways match was a precursor to the Brisbane Heat and Perth Scorchers KFC Big Bash League match played at the Gabba in front of a record crowd.
Both teams were littered with members of the Australian squad that will play in the upcoming ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, including Edwards and five other players from New South Wales.
Edwards, Jason Sangha, Baxter Holt, and Param Uppal all played for the Ponting XI, while Austin Waugh and Jason Ralston were selected for the Gilchrist XI.
The Sydney Sixers’ rookie said he wasn’t that worried about falling one run short of the century.
“I was pretty tired, it was hot out there and yeah just looking to put the team first and run it hard at the other end, it’s just one run to me”, he said.
Edwards was dynamic for his side in partnership with Queensland Bulls’ batsman Max Bryant (21). The pair shared in an opening stand of 48 runs, getting their team off to the ideal start.
The young batsman said he enjoyed batting with the Brisbane Heat young gun.
“Yeah he’s good to bat with. He usually goes pretty hard and I can just sit at the other end and get him on strike, so yeah he’s good to bat with”.
The opportunity to perform on such a first class surface was something Edwards really enjoyed.
“It was a fantastic … wicket, quick outfield, yeah really good for batting”.
The Ponting XI finished its allocated 20 overs at 3-153 with New South Wales’ rookie Param Uppal also making an unbeaten 19 from 15 balls.
In the end though, even the outstanding efforts of Edwards couldn’t get the Ponting XI over the line. The Gilchrist XI sharing the load throughout the successful chase with a number of batsmen contributing.
Among those was second leading run scorer during the Under 19 National Championships, New South Wales’ Ryan Hackney (27). Tasmanian Jarrod Freedman hit a six from the second last ball of the match to give the Gilchrist XI the win by three wickets.
However, in many respects the night belonged to Edwards, as the crowd who arrived early at the Gabba, witnessed one of New South Wales’ most promising young batsman go to work.