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Betts makes mark

Tuesday, 22nd October, 2013

Samantha Betts in action for the Scorpions. PICTURE: Peter Argent Samantha Betts in action for the Scorpions. PICTURE: Peter Argent

By Peter Argent

Having debuted last summer, Broken Hill pace bowler Samantha Betts is an important part of the next generation of South Australian Scorpions  cricketers in the Women’s National Cricket League.

Still just 17, Betts is seen as a vital member of the bowling attack, providing support for the teams strike bowler Megan Schutt, who despite being just 20 herself is in the national squad.

Already having represented her state at youth level for a number of years, Betts was initially spotted by former Australian women’s captain and accomplished all rounder, Shelley Nitschke.

Betts explained it was a great honour to take over the number 14 shirt from Nitschke, because she played a pivotal role in Betts being where she is now as a cricketer.

“I’m based in Adelaide, but come back to Broken Hill,” Betts said to the BDT.

“I have applied to the University of SA to do an Occupational Therapy degree next year.

“I have a list of short term and longer term goals for both cricket and other interests.

“From a cricket perspective, I’m looking to play as much Scorpions cricket as I can this summer.

“Since I was in year six, I dreamt of playing for Australia and I’m looking to work towards that goal.

“Also I am looking forward to going away to the national under 18s championships during January in Ballarat.

“It will be my fourth trip with these girls.

“We expect to have a strong side going across and I’m one of four members from the Scorpions in that squad.

“I’m heavily working on my batting, endeavouring to become a more accomplished all rounder and to be more useful to the team.”
It was a tough start to the season, last weekend in a pair of Twenty20 fixtures and a 50-over contest against the batting power of the Victorian Spirit.

In the opener on Friday afternoon, the Spirit batted first and made an imposing total of 1/160.

Australian openers Meg Lanning and Elyse Vallini made a century opening stand, before Betts collected the initial and only breakthrough.

She had Lanning caught at cover by captain Lauren Ebsary with a slower ball for 65 and finished with the respectable figures of 1/24 from three overs.

The Scorpions were bundled out for 78, losiang by 82 runs.

In the second T20 match, Betts opened the bowling and conceded nearly 11 runs an over, finishing with 0/32 from her three overs, as the Spirit won by nine wickets chasing 5/119.

“Their batting attack was amazing really,” Betts continued.

“I missed out on Saturday because the coaching staff wanted to go in with two spinners, which proved to be the correct decision as they took five wickets between them.

“Victoria looks to be a very powerful batting side this summer.”

Scorpions coach and former Australian cricketer Andrea McCauley explained among Betts’ strengths are her consistency and ability to read the game.

“Sam has all the earmarks of developing into a quality cricketer,” McCauley continued.

“She got the smarts.

“We already regard her as an all rounder.

“In time we see her as a number six or seven bat, to compliment her role as an opening or first change bowler.

“She is quite athletic and although we need to work on her agility, Sam has a strong arm and is a good catch.”

The Scorpions play their first three rounds of the 2013-2014 campaign in Adelaide, with the next series against Western Australia.

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