CORO captain Haydn Pascoe has hailed Alex Flood as a star of the future after the young paceman helped book a place in the first-grade grand final with a win over Exies at the weekend.
The 17-year-old was irresistible, finishing with a total of nine wickets and stunning match figures of 9-36 from 20 overs across two days as the Cougars won by seven wickets in the major semi-final at Exies No.1.
The Cougars now have the week off and will play either Exies or Diggers in the grand final on March 23 and 24.
Flood claimed the prized scalp of Exies batsman Justin Winkler, who scored 45 in his side’s second innings as they set Coro a target of 98 runs for victory.
Pascoe clubbed the winning runs with a four early yesterday but said Flood was the one who deserved the spotlight.
“He just bowled unbelievable. It was all a captain could ask for,” he said.
“He’s only just turned 17 and has played rep ... he’s going to be the pick of the bowlers in the future.
“He’s a great bowler. I can’t wait until he’s 18, because he can only bowl six overs per spell and 12 overs in a day because of his age.
“That kills us because it takes him two or three overs to get set, but he always takes three or four wickets.”
Exies won the toss on Saturday and batted first, but could only reach 69 as Flood led the Coro charge by removing Exies’ top three batsmen.
The Cougars weren’t particularly firm in response, with Paul Plummer top-scoring on just 18 as the newly-crowned Twenty20 and one-day champions finished the innings 69 runs in front.
“Most of our top order went out there in a two-day mindset, thinking we had to bat the whole day, instead of batting freely,” Pascoe said.
“Batting freely is what we’re best at, because we won the Twenty20 and the one-dayers.”
And that’s exactly what Coro did in the second innings, with Pascoe finishing unbeaten on 45 after strong support from the powerful Peter Taprell (32), who belted 15 runs off one Mark Semmler over.
“Semmler was giving him some chirp and then the very next over he got his revenge, so that was good,” Pascoe said.
The Cougars can now put their feet up having earned the week off, and it comes at the right time – Glen Cox (calf) and Paul Plummer (sciatica) are nursing injuries.
“We could do with a rest,” Pascoe said.
“We’ll go into the grand final a bit more prepared, a bit more relaxed. The week off is going to do wonders for us.
“We’re still very confident we can win the grand final. It took us until the start of this year to lose a game so clearly we’ve got the side to do it. We’ve just got to perform on the day.”