ROUSE PLAYS THROUGH PAIN BARRIER TO HIT FIRST 50
Despite having surgery and facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Kent keeper Adam Rouse knows last week’s rain-hit draw at Glamorgan is a game he will always remember.
After a late call-up to the team when Sam Billings hurt a thumb in training last Saturday, Rouse shrugged off a broken and dislocated finger to hit a career-best 65 with the bat in the Specsavers County Championship Division 2 clash at Sophia Gardens.
Rouse, who turns 24 tomorrow (Thursday), is set to be out until August after he was injured taking a Mitch Claydon delivery behind the stumps on day two – although he kept for the remainder of the day’s action and then took his place in the batting line-up to ensure Kent avoided the follow-on. The Zimbabwe-born gloveman – who signed a contract this season after impressing for the 2nds – revealed how his injury occurred: “The ball before from Mitch had come through high but this one dipped and I tried to reverse cup it as I took it low and it went straight onto my little finger.
“I knew straight away, I’ve had it before and you can tell because the finger goes numb and warm. I took my glove off and my little finger was pointing sideways. “Physio Dan George came on and popped it back in – from then it was just a case of having some painkillers and getting on with it. Luckily, there were only 10 or 15 overs left before the rain came down.”
X-rays after stumps confirmed a fracture and dislocation and that night Rouse and George fashioned a thermoplastic mould to protect the finger.
He said: “We were trying to look after it when I was keeping but when it came to batting, we just decided to leave it as it was – let it be free.”
Rouse joined Sean Dickson with Kent reeling on 85-5 but scored 65 from 113 balls over two spells, including 13 fours, to help his side keep the first innings deficit to two figures.
The knock came almost two years to the week since Rouse made his career- best 49 on his First Class debut for Gloucestershire as they lost at home to Essex.
He said: “This game was definitely one to remember for many reasons.
“The finger was not too bad at the start but I tried a cut shot off the spinner and I felt that.
“I couldn’t bend my finger after that and although I was reluctant, I went off. Sean and I were playing nicely and I had just got going so I didn’t want to.
“We went off, though and made a plan. I ended up strapping it up and then cutting a hole in my glove so the finger could poke through but it got me through.”
Rouse spent Tuesday night in A&E awaiting another X-ray and did not keep in the second innings with Tom Latham and then former Sussex man Callum Jackson taking over the gloves.
Rouse only found out there was a chance he was going to feature after playing for Winchester-based St Cross Symondians, top scoring with 48 in their 34-run home defeat to Burridge in the Southern Premier League.
He said: “When I got off the field I had a call saying Sam had been hit on the thumb in training and was 50-50 and could I head up that night as cover.
“He had a fitness test on the Sunday morning but I just prepared as if I was playing, as I always do and was just pleased to be able to play.”
Rouse hadn’t featured since Billings returned from the IPL in May but added: “I knew the situation when I came, I knew how it was going to pan out when Sam came back.
“I never would have thought it would go as well as it had. I never had huge goals, I just wanted to learn about my game and keep progressing but to be leading dismissal taker was unbelievable.
“I felt like I spent a lot of time in the middle and played my part earlier, although the scores didn’t necessarily come.
“Now I’ve got the 50, hopefully I’ll get another chance and if possible I’d like to get a hundred by the end of the season.”