CRICKET: Sunshine Coast Scorchers all rounder James Bazley's star continues to rise.
Fresh from a dramatic victory against Wynnum-Manly on the weekend, in which Bazley dragged his side to a three-run win by blazing 147 not out from 165 balls, the tall timber will head to Sydney to take part in the Matador Cup for a Cricket Australia Select XI.
Bazley recently returned from a nine-week stint in England, as part of a Cricket Australia initiative to send identified, young talent to the Elite International Cricket Academy in Hampshire to further hone their skills.
Bazley said while he enjoyed his time abroad, he'd been itching to get back home and help his Scorchers teammates, having fully recovered from a niggling back injury which hampered him last season.
"I've been back at full strength for a while now and I'd like to improve my bowling a little bit," he said.
"It'll get better with the more bowling I do, it's not exactly where I want it to be but it's one of those things that will come good the more I keep bowling.
"I've been putting a lot of work into my batting and it was great to get that hundred and get a win for the team."
Bazley's batting was definitely on song on Saturday.
The right-hander peeled off 15 boundaries and smoked six sixes in the knock that went for a little over three hours.
Bazley combined with wicketkeeper John Turnbull to steer the Scorchers to 9/311, reeling in the 308 set for them by Wynnum-Manly.
Bazley, stand-in skipper for the victory, said he was always confident he and Turnbull would be able to build a partnership, despite the pair combining at 7/104.
"I knew he could bat so I said 'let's just build a partnership'... I scratched around for a while there but Johnny was batting well," he said.
Bazley praised fellow not-out batsmen, tailender Steve Heise, for his gritty one off 19 deliveries, to help steer the Coast home.
Bazley now heads to Sydney for three-and-a-half weeks to play for the Cricket Australia XI in the Matador Cup, the premier one-day competition in Australia, coming up against the likes of last season's winners, the Michael Klinger-led Western Australians.
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