Cricket is not always a fair game. The whimsical nature of the sport often makes matches really difficult for players. Jake Weatherald, an Australian batsman who opens the innings for South Australia was horribly tormented when he played for his team in the Sheffield Shield match vs Victoria.
The 24-years old cricketer is not an all-rounder. Hence, when his team took on Victoria at Melbourne, on a pitch that was completely lifeless, he had the misfortune of having to spend the entire batting innings of the opponent's team in the field. And that was a very long innings. Victoria batted for 150 overs, yes, 150 overs.
That is 900 balls in the field for the 24-years old. Victoria ended up scoring 616/6 declared. Now, you would have thought that after being put through the wringer by his opposing batsmen, Weatherald would have been determined to make the bowlers and fielders of the other team suffer just he had. The left-hander must have been determined to score a big hundred of his own.
But, in what was the worst-possible occurrence for the South Australian opener, when his turn to bat came, he got just one ball! The villain of his match was James Pattinson – the Aussie pacer who played in the recently-concluded Ashes Test series. He ensured that, far from reaping a rich harvest on the highly fertile pitch for batsmen that the match is being played on, Weatherald suffered ignominy of getting dismissed on the very first ball he faced in his innings.
So, there you have it! A man is on the field for 150 overs watching his counterparts in the other side scoring runs like it is child's play. Then, when it's his turn, he gets just one ball to play. If that wasn't all, Weatherald then also had to endure the sight of his own team's batsmen putting up big runs on the board and earning a respectful draw.
What did in the South Australian opener was a brilliant first delivery from Pattinson. It was the sort of ball you expect from an Australian bowler. Just back of a length and rising a bit. It was also angled across the batsman and may have moved a bit. The solid edge of the bat was taken and carried easily to the man at gully position.
Eventually, his team scored 527/5 in reply to Victoria's massive total and ensured an easy draw for themselves. Of the seven batsmen that batted for South Australia, apart from Weatherald, only one other failed to get to half-century mark. Cricket truly was brutal in its treatment of the young opener.