JOONDALUP wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Inglis is proving to be the rare example of a dominant grade cricketer who promptly makes an impact in his transition to the professional WACA ranks.
Yorkshire-born Inglis was awarded a WA rookie contract for 2015-16 after scoring 1137 runs in his 2014-15 first grade campaign, third on the competition’s all-time list of runs scored in a season.
He capped off a breakout six months with a 246-run performance in the Centurions’ grand final victory over Gosnells.
The 20-year-old made 96 in his third Futures League game last month, but his standout performance has been a prolific wicketkeeping effort in a tour match against New Zealand at the WACA Ground.
The gloveman took seven catches and a stumping, to finish the match with eight dismissals.
Inglis labelled the result “unbelievable”, having had a hand in the disposal of world class batsmen such as Brendan McCullum, who he stumped.
“I’ve never taken that many dismissals before in a game,” he said.
“Just looking up at the scoreboard and seeing the dismissals (saying) wicketkeeper. They actually had to take off one of the top boards because they didn’t have enough wicketkeeper signs.”
The accomplishment earned him selection in the Cricket Australia XI to face the West Indies in Brisbane at Allan Border Field yesterday.
At the time of going to print, Inglis had taken another catch but was fielding in the slips with captain Jimmy Peirson behind the stumps.
In the lead-up to the four-day match, Inglis was expecting tough opposition, particularly from pace bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel.
“It will definitely test my own batting,” he said.
“We’ve got a good side and it’s obviously just a warm up for them so both teams will be looking to do well.”
As a rookie-contracted WA player, he is expected to meet the same training commitments as the senior squad while on less pay – cricket has become his fulltime job.
Inglis admitted he found the physicality of the pre-season tough, but was enjoying the step up]“The standard’s a lot higher,” he said.
“You’re expected to perform most of the time… (but) it’s a lot harder to perform.”
The middle-order batsman scored 58 and 57 in his debut Futures League match but dropped off in his second appearance with totals of eight and 0 beforerecovering with a near century in his third outing.
Centurions need big win
JOONDALUP is at risk of dropping out of the WACA Premier Cricket top six after suffering a first-innings defeat on day one against second-placed Perth on Saturday.
The Centurions’ top order crumbled, leaving the visitors in a difficult position against the Demons at Fletcher Park.
Joondalup slumped to 7-69, before Craig Hutchison (37) and Clint Tomlinson (30) scrapped the side to 139.
Centurions fast bowler Josh Anderson fought hard taking three wickets, however he could not prevent Perth from finishing the day 62 runs ahead, with one wicket in hand.