Promis­ing AJ given chance to shine for county side

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

JA­SON Har­ri­son has pre­dicted a bright fu­ture for Ger­rards Cross CC’s AJ Wood­land – de­spite his county de­but last­ing just five min­utes, writes Tim Street.

Wood­land was named in the Bucks CCC line-up for the first time for this week’s rain-af­fected draw against Bed­ford­shire at Lu­ton, but lasted just nine balls and three runs, be­fore be­ing bowled.

How­ever, Bucks di­rec­tor of cricket Har­ri­son will keep faith in the young­ster, who back in May smashed a load of school records when he hit an un­beaten 204 for St Ed­wards in Ox­ford.

Har­ri­son said: “AJ has shown a lot of prom­ise, and we feel he’s now ready to play at this level. He has an ex­cep­tional schools record, has been ex­cep­tional for our county U17s side, and has spent time with the Glouces­ter­shire Acad­emy.

“We’ve lost four key play­ers from last sea­son, with Shaan Khan and Sam Helm in­jured, Matt Rance un­able to bowl and Charlie McDon­nell join­ing Der­byshire, but it gives young­sters like AJ a chance to force their way in.”

Sadly, the weather pre­vented Wood­land get­ting a bite of the cherry as a full day and a half of the three-day clash was lost, forc­ing both sides to for­feit an in­nings.

Bed­ford­shire had reached 194-4 at close of play on day one and did not re­sume un­til af­ter lunch on day three, at which point they raced to 241-4 be­fore declar­ing, giv­ing Bucks 61 overs to reach the tar­get.

Their re­ply got off to the worst pos­si­ble start when Wood­land’s early exit was fol­lowed by fel­low opener Jack Scriven go­ing for just two, and skip­per Michael Payne also go­ing for just five.

But a cen­tury from Shelvin Gumbs and an un­beaten 60 from Wood­land’s Ger­rards Cross team-mate Dan Hamp­ton guided Bucks to a draw, 54 runs short of vic­tory but with just three wick­ets re­main­ing, when the overs ran out.

AJ Wood­land made his first ap­pear­ance for Bucks CCC Bright fu­ture:

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