Young opener is show­ing heaps of prom­ise

Central Leader - - SPORT - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

Jared Chal­lis needed only one year at Mt Al­bert Gram­mar School to prove him­self as a crick­eter.

He switched from Kel­ston Boys High School at the start of 2014 as a year 13 stu­dent with one goal in mind – to fur­ther his crick­et­ing prow­ess.

Chal­lis’ craft as an open­ing bats­men was too good to ig­nore – turn­ing up for the MAGS first XI tri­als he smashed 63 runs.

‘‘It just gelled,’’ the 18-year-old says of his short stint at MAGS.

‘‘I al­ready knew a few of the play­ers from cricket. My brother [Ethan, 16] moved over as well.’’

Chal­lis has also cap­tained the side and never breaks his tra­di­tion.

‘‘If we win the coin toss I al­ways pick to bat first.’’

Since wind­ing down at school with a top score of 105 (Kel­ston v King’s Col­lege 2013) in the two-day­ers, Chal­lis’ ca­reer has taken off.

His con­sis­tency has earned him a spot in the De­vel­op­ing Fu­ture Auck­land Aces this sum­mer.

And he was quick to im­press, scor­ing back-to­back cen­turies in Novem­ber against a tour­ing Bri­tish Army XI (100 off 55 balls) and North­land B (103).

Chal­lis also de­buted for the Waitakere pre­miers, cracking 45 against Kumeu on De­cem­ber 3 in the Auck­land Twenty20 com­pe­ti­tion.

He says the hard­est thing about the game are the men­tal bar­ri­ers. ‘‘There’s a lot of per­sonal things [in cricket]. That’s what I love, the per­sonal bat­tle, just try­ing to smash [the bowler].’’

Chal­lis is also pretty handy with the ball. He used to bowl seam­ers but has honed his skills to off-spin due to a mi­nor back in­jury.

His best bowl­ing fig­ures are 6-32 which he achieved play­ing for the Waitakere un­der-16s two years ago.

Now that his school days are over, Chal­lis has flung him­self into cricket with seven train­ing ses­sions and two games a week.

‘‘I do watch a lot of cricket on TV and I like see­ing where the field set­tings are. It gives me ideas of what could be a good game plan when we are bowl­ing.’’

Crease maker: Jared Chal­lis.

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