National Championship title for Tom Derham
Tuesday, 22nd January, 2013
By Peter Argent
In his final season of national under 19s cricket, Tom Derham and his South Australian teammates have won the national 19s cricket championship title for the first time 15 years.
It was also only the fifth time that SA had won in the competition's 40-year history.
Going into the final round on Wednesday and Thursday last week, the young Redbacks were one point behind ladder leaders Western Australia.
SA had an emphatic first innings win over the ACT at the Henley Memorial Oval, but because WA had made a large total of 325, the assumption was that the hosts would need an outright victory for the crown.
In oppressive 40 degree-plus heat, the SA bowling attack dismissed the ACT side, collecting seven wickets in the opening session to easily secure first inning points and then, as expected, skipper Travis Head sent the ACT side back in.
Surprisingly, the fifth bowler used, Derham took the final two wickets to ensure the first innings victory. His figures were 2.5 overs, two maidens, two wickets without conceding a run, as SA bundled their opponents out for 121 just before lunch and collected the first innings points by 207 runs.
They fell just three wickets short of outright victory, despite heroics from Cam Valente and Derham.
In the second dig, Derham continued to display his renowned heart and courage.
His spell in the last session in the heat of the afternoon was superb.
Derham bowled with fire and pace for eight overs, ripping through the ACT's middle order and taking three valuable wickets.
Cramping up during the last over he bowled, Derham collected the tremendous figures of 3/16 from 14 overs, including seven maidens.
"They were the most oppressive conditions I've ever encountered on a cricket field on the last day," Derham told the Barrier Daily Truth.
"I was vigilant in my preparation, having plenty of water and hydrolites.
"But as soon as were on the ground, you just sweated it out.
"Because we believed that we had to grab an outright win, I was asked to bowl an eightover spell in the middle of that heat."
At the end of the game, the SA team was informed by coach John Palmer that Victoria had chased down the WA side's large total, sparking spontaneous
and riotous celebrations amongst the squad.
"The title win was sweeter after the day of really hard work," Derham said.
"Previous the highest I'd finished in my years in SA representative teams was fifth, so to finish my underage cricket at the Redbacks with a championship is
"We had a really well balanced unit."
Head coach of the Emerging Redbacks program, Tim Neilsen, said the victory was well deserved and a great sign for cricket in SA.
"This group of boys really deserved to win. They have been training hard since June and have work together as a team brilliantly," Neilsen said.
"This is great for the future of cricket in SA and hopefully we see a lot of the boys stepping up to first-class level in the next few years."
The round five performance was easily Derham's best over the two weeks, taking fivematch wickets at the cost of 3.2 runs for each scalp.
Going into this game, Derham had only taken three wickets in the opening four rounds, although he was rested in the second onedayer against NSW at Woodville Oval.
In the 2011-12 campaign where Derham collected Team of the Championship honours, he bowled 81 overs, taking 16 wickets at 17.69.
In comparison, in this year's carnival he bowled just 48.4 overs for his eight wickets at the cost of 14.50.
He had plenty of bowling support in the championship-winning side, with Cameron Valente, Jack Pudney and Henry Voigt as other members of the pace attack this season.
This event started as the Australian Schools Cricket Council back in 1969-70. Cricket Australia assumed the running of the carnival in 1981-82.
SA have five under 19s championship titles now, with the initial win in '73-74, and other titles in '83-84, '90-91 and '97-98.
Over the more than 40 years of this competition nearly 600 players from these titles have gone on to a first class cricket career, with 136 playing test matches including current Test captain Michael Clarke.