Oakley flies high for Comets
Ben Oakley took 4-42. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
ACT Comets captain Jono Dean reckons paceman Ben Oakley wouldn’t look out of place in the Big Bash League after ripping through the Victorian second XI.
Oakley finished with the impressive second innings figures of 4-42 to lead the Comets to a commanding 196-run victory in their Futures League match at Junction Oval on Thursday.
It was Oakley’s first representative game of the season as the Wests/UC captain launched a late bid to secure a contract in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
He had little impact in Victoria’s first dig, but found his rhythm to prove the difference on the final day as the hosts tried valiantly to secure a draw.
The Comets were forced to spend more than 100 overs in the field before eventually dismissing Victoria for 335.
Oakley claimed the wickets of Victoria’s top three batsmen, including the key scalps of Michael Hill (33) and Marcus Stoinis (golden duck), both who have Sheffield Shield experience.
And while the Comets don’t have any fixtures in the shortest format of the game, Dean has no doubt Oakley has all the attributes necessary to be a valuable asset in Twenty20 cricket.
‘‘I don’t think he’d be out of place in the Big Bash,’’ Dean said.
‘‘He can hit the base of the stumps and also has a good bumper.
‘‘He’s got a pretty big ticker and came back in like he never left.’’
Spinner Blake Dean also took four second-innings wickets as the Comets secured their first win of the season to make amends for their loss to NSW at Manuka Oval.
Hard-hitting middle order batsman Michael Spaseski also showed he should be on the radar of Big Bash League franchises.
Spaseski rattled off a sensational century in the Comets’ first innings to lay the platform for their imposing total of 417.
His beautifully-paced 100 from 162 balls included three sixes.
Spaseski cleared the rope four more times in his second dig as part of an entertaining 72 from just 61 balls to allow the Comets to declare their second innings at 5-323, while Aaron Ayre (81) and Jono Dean (76) also made half-centuries.
‘‘He was in a pretty good mindset, got himself in and carved up,’’ Jono Dean said.
‘‘He was the second-leading runscorer in the comp last year and has continued that on this season, so hopefully he keeps it going.’’
Futures League: ACT COMETS 417 (M Spaseski 100, D Solway 84, M Gawthrop 76) and 5-323dec (A Ayre 81, J Dean 76, M Spaseski 72) bt VICTORIAN SECOND XI 209 (A Maher 4-47, M Higgs 3-66) and 335 (B Oakley 4-42, B Dean 4-40) at Junction Oval.