Jason Sangha, who led Australia in this year's ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, has become the youngest player to score a half-century in the Big Bash League.
Sangha, 19, who was making his BBL debut for Sydney Thunder, finished unbeaten on 63 from just 36 balls to help his side to a total of 181 against Melbourne Stars in Canberra.
Coming in at No. 5, Sangha joined England Test skipper Joe Root at the crease, and the pair put on 40 before the overseas batsman departed for 18 from 17 balls. Sangha upstaged Root, as well as other superstar team-mates such as Jos Buttler and Shane Watson, with a barnstorming innings, hitting four fours and four sixes to kick off the Thunder’s BBL campaign.
January/February 2018: Captain Australia to the #U19CWC final 🇦🇺— ICC (@ICC) December 21, 2018
December 2018: Become the youngest player to score a @BBL fifty! 👏
Jason Sangha had an impressive debut for @ThunderBBL with 63* off 36! pic.twitter.com/Ely9FJiD3b
Sangha, who plays for New South Wales in the Sheffield Shield, has long been earmarked as a bright prospect in Australian cricket. Last year, he hit his maiden first-class hundred against England for a Cricket Australia XI, before helping Australia to a runners-up finish at the 2018 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. Just last month, he scored his first hundred in Shield cricket.
Prior to the Stars game, Root was full of praise for the Australian youngster, remembering his knock against the touring Englishman in the build-up to last year’s Ashes.
“I was impressed when he played against us in a tour game last summer, he got a brilliant 100 against a very good England attack in Townsville,'' Root was quoted as saying by The Sydney Morning Herald.
Sangha’s debut innings ended up being a match-winning one, as the Stars lost out by 15 runs on the DLS method. For young Sangha, a whirlwind knock alongside a batsman of Root’s pedigree was “a dream come true.”
"Seeing the crowd tonight reminds me of when I was a young kid in my Thunder clothes,'' said Sangha. "Before the game I didn’t know [what to expect], but the situation when I came in, me and Joe just had to be calm and we understood that one of us had to go deep into the innings.
"Joe has been one of my idols since I've grown up, and to bat with him in front of this crowd is a dream come true.''
It appears that it won’t be long before Sangha becomes an idol for young Thunder fans.
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