Sport

Cricket: ACT Comets selection trial unearths young talent pushing for Futures League spots

ANU batsman Lakshmn Shivakkumar did his chances of a Futures League debut no harm with an impressive half-century in the ACT Comets selection trial match at Freebody Oval on Sunday.

Shivakkumar top-scored for Comets Royal Blue with 79 in a total of 200 before Comets young gun Blake MacDonald and Sam Taylor scored the bulk of the runs for the Gold side in the successful chase.

Lakshmn Shivakkumar on his way to 79 in Sunday's ACT Comets trial match at Freebody Oval.
Lakshmn Shivakkumar on his way to 79 in Sunday's ACT Comets trial match at Freebody Oval. Photo: Graham Tidy

The match was a chance for fringe players to stake their claims for a spot in the Comets side for their next Futures League match against Tasmania at Blundstone Arena starting January 25.

MacDonald was well on his way to a century before the opener retired on 76, proving his class after missing out in last week's match against Western Australia.

Legspinner Mac Wright finished with the figures of 3-56.
Legspinner Mac Wright finished with the figures of 3-56. Photo: Graham Tidy

Tamworth product James Psarakis (56) and Weston Creek Molonglo fast bowler Joe Slater (3-31) also stood up, catching the attention of Comets senior coach Kyle Piper.

"Each of the selection games that we've had, certain individuals have put their hand up," Piper said.

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"Generally when you have this kind of thing, it's the guys who have the most to gain who switch on and get the most out of these games.

"Shivakkumar, Psarakis, Blake MacDonald and Joe Slater took their opportunity the most."

Players take a drinks break and get some words of advice from the coach.
Players take a drinks break and get some words of advice from the coach. Photo: Graham Tidy

The Comets fast bowling trio of Josh Bennett, Mitch Phelps and Cameron Suidgeest were rested after getting through plenty of work against WA during the week.

That enabled Slater to take the new ball and the 17-year-old did not disappoint.

"Joe has started to demonstrate some of the things we've seen in him the last few years," Piper said.

"We've all known he's capable, but he hasn't been able to put it together day after day.

"This year he's put together some very good performances."

Australian under-19 representative Ben Taylor was hard to handle, the left-arm orthodox spinner taking 4-51, while leg-spinner Mac Wright picked up three wickets.