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Costly Comets come up short with the bat

Date

David Polkinghorne

ACT opener Matthew Gawthrop scored 21.

ACT opener Matthew Gawthrop scored 21. Photo: Rohan Thomson

Mark Higgs had a flashback to the 1980s as he watched South Australia's Usman Qadir at Freebody Oval on Monday. While it brought back memories of Pakistan legspinning legend Abdul Qadir - Usman's father - the ACT Comets coach was not overly impressed with his own team's batting as it was bowled out for 267 on the opening day of the Futures League contest.

Higgs felt his side threw away four or five wickets and finished about 60 or 70 runs short of where it should have been.

Coming in after a quick-fire 40 by opener Jono Dean, Aaron Ayre top scored for the Comets with 61 before he was caught by former teammate Sam Miller off the bowling of Cullen Bailey.

Aaron Ayre top scored with 61.

Aaron Ayre top scored with 61. Photo: Rohan Thomson

The Comets lost their final three wickets for just two runs as the tail crumbled.

Higgs said it was now up to the bowlers to run through the South Aussies, and pointed to Miller, Alexander Ross and Ben Dougall as danger men with the bat.

''To be honest, four or five of our guys threw their wickets away with poor shots,'' he said.

''We were probably about 60 or 70 runs under what we should've made today.

''It was disappointing. Obviously, it's only day one, but the wicket seems to be offering a bit of turn already, so it's important for us to bowl well now and restrict them to, hopefully, less than 200 and, hopefully, make a decent score in the second innings.''

Higgs said Qadir (3-72) was the pick of the opposition bowlers and his action was a lot like his bouncy father's, who bounded into the crease like a kangaroo.

The pair met last week at a training session for the Adelaide Strikers, where Higgs has signed a supplementary contract for the Big Bash League.

Qadir was brought to Adelaide by Redbacks coach Darren Berry and was playing grade cricket in Adelaide.

Higgs said Qadir still had a way to go before he became as good as his father, who took 236 Test wickets for Pakistan at an average of 32.8.

''He's got the same action [as his father]; I actually met him last week in Adelaide,'' he said.

''He bowls quite well, quick leg-spinners, high action, looks a lot like his father, actually.

''I told a few of the lads but they had no idea, a bit before their time.''

Day two of the four-day game resumes at 10.30am on Tuesday.

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