EAGLEHAWK captain Cory Jacobs isn’t surprised by the red-hot form of veteran Andrew Smith with the ball over the past two rounds.
After all, Jacobs considers Smith as the most competitive Eaglehawk player he has played alongside during his time at Canterbury Park.
Smith has taken 13 wickets the past two rounds, and also leads Eaglehawk’s batting after five rounds.
Not bad going for a 42-year-old all-rounder who two seasons ago had been content to take a step back into the second XI.
That lasted until halfway through last season before Smith again returned to the first XI – later making 127 in the Hawks’ semi-final win over Bendigo United – and so far this campaign has been Eaglehawk’s most consistent player in the BDCA.
The opener is the Hawks’ leading run-scorer with 133 and also leading wicket-taker with 13 – all of which have come in the past two rounds.
Smith bagged 5-42 off 19.4 overs against Sandhurst in round four, before bettering that effort last round against Bendigo with a career-best 8-27 off 23.2 overs.
Smith’s eight wickets were the driving force behind the Hawks successfully defending their score of 116 against Bendigo as they bowled the Goers out for 110.
“He’s one of the best we’ve seen in the BDCA and I don’t know if he gets enough recognition… he certainly gets it at Eaglehawk,” Jacobs said on Wednesday.
“But to be averaging six (6.46) with the ball in his 40s; it’s crazy to think how good he is going.
“He’s the most competitive, self-driven and loyal man you will ever meet.
“He’d do anything to win a game of cricket for Eaglehawk, and you just know that any time you throw him the ball, if he doesn’t get a wicket he will create something from the other end – he’s just got that knack.”
He’s one of the best we’ve seen in the BDCA and I don’t know if he gets enough recognition
The Hawks have a 2-2-1 record after five rounds ahead of a clash against third-placed Kangaroo Flat (3-1-1) at Canterbury Park starting this Saturday.
The Hawks will regain strike bowler Richard Tibbett, who has missed the past two games – a void that has been superbly filled by Smith.
Meanwhile, the highest score the Hawks have made in their past three games has been just 143, but Jacobs says the side is working hard at its batting and is confident regular scores above 200 are just around the corner.
“We’ve been working as hard as we can on our batting; we’ve just got to get the mindset right on a Saturday, and if we can do that I’m confident we’ll be right… we will keep backing the boys in,” Jacobs said.