Boys best by a country mile
THEY are polar opposites at the crease — one stands tall and intimidates, the other sneaks through undetected and deftly makes his mark.
But Zac Keune and Steve Nichols, both 17, have proved their methods effective, being named in the under-19 Queensland Country XI after representing south Queensland in Brisbane at the weekend.
2009 has seen somewhat of a transformation for Nichols.
In less than half a season the redhead has risen from handy Bundaberg representative player to Queensland Country top-order batsman.
“It’s my biggest achievement so far,” the Shalom College year 12 student said.
“It’s amazing how it’s all happened for me this year, but I’m just running with it.”
NICHOLS credits a confidence-boosting 90 in the first game of the season for his surge up the ranks.
It was this confidence he displayed on his way to 72 at Allan Border Field against North Queensland.
To prove it was not a fluke, he hit a quickfire 31 in the Twenty20 the following day, earning him the Country spot.
“Steve batted excellently on both days,” Keune said.
“He was hitting the ball really well and driving nice and straight.”
The fact Nichols has started to score runs down the ground, rather than through point, is a clear sign he is improving by the minute.
Keune was a whisker away from making the Queensland under-19 club side, which was a major goal this season.
The Across The Waves bat however, is already a member of the Queensland under-19 schoolboy’s team.
“I had to choose between playing for Country or for Queensland schoolboys, because they are both at the same time, so I chose schoolboys because we play at the SCG,” he said.
Nichols has a clear schedule in late November, though, and he is more than ready to return to A B Field and continue where he left off against the Queensland under-17 club team.
“I feel confident I’ve got another big score in me,” he said.