Whitehead spins Easterns dizzy

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Sean Whitehead PHOTO: CSA

The 24-year-old cricketer from Bloemfontein, Sean Whitehead, achieved the unthinkable on the weekend when he became the first bowler in South African in 13 years to take all ten wickets in a single innings.

Whitehead, who is now playing his cricket for South Western Districts (SWD) in Oudtshoorn, dismissed the entire Eastern Storm team in their second innings of the CSA Division 2 4-day match played at the Recreation Grounds in the Klein Karoo town.
In the first innings, the left-arm spinner took five wickets, which is an achievement on its own.

The old boy from Saint Andrew’s School in Bloemfontein took 5/64 in the first innings, while impressing with his now world famous 10/36 in the second innings for match figures of 15/100. This feat has made headlines in the cricket-mad India and as well as the BBC in the United Kingdom.

To add to his supurb feat with the bat, Whitehead, who is somewhat of a bowling all-rounder, scored 66 with the bat in the SWD first innings, while also contributing with a knock of 45 runs in the second innings.

It is safe to say that Whitehead single-handedly led SWD to their 120-run victory.
Speaking to Bloemfontein Courant about his feat, Whitehead stated he was still in shock and just wanted to contribute to the success of the team.

“I’m definitely still in a bit of shock with what I was able to achieve. Taking five wickets is an achievement in its own for anybody in a game.

“I’m definitely happy to be able to have contributed to the success of the team, and hopefully I can put in a few more performances in the season ahead to help us achieve some silverware, as any team wants to.”

The last time all ten wickets were taken in an innings by a bowler in South Africa, was in Bloemfontein on 1 December 2007, when the Warriors seamer, Mario Olivier, took 10/65 against Eagles (now Knights) to become just the third player to achieve such a feat in the country. Before him, the last South African to perform the feat, was Western Province’s Stephen Jeffries, who had figures of 10/59 against the Free State in 1987 – 88.

Whitehead’s figures are the second best-ever in South Africa with only Bert Vogler’s 10/26 for Eastern Province against Griqualand West in December 1906 being better.

Before joining SWD, Whitehead played first-class cricket for the Free State, while he also represented the University of the Free State Kovsies, and South Africa U19 at the 2016 World Cup in Bangladesh. – MORGAN PIEK