Sport

Record tumbles

By Patrick Tansey

When describing Cobram Cricket Club’s Wian Van Zyl, you almost run out of superlatives.

Star, master blaster, dominant and powerful all spring to mind, but on the weekend against Katamatite the South African import added one more to the list — record breaker.

With his score of 64 against the Tigers in Cobram’s second innings, Van Zyl broke a club record which has stood for 20 years.

Van Zyl surpassed former great Steve Gemmill for most runs in a season made by a Cobram player, which stood at 796, achieved in the 1996-97 Murray Valley Cricket Association season.

Fittingly, Gemmill was at Cobram Showgrounds on Saturday to congratulate Van Zyl on his achievement.

Gemmill, who used to mainly bat at number four, was also a naturally aggressive player, much like the South African.

He knew his record was in serious danger of tumbling after reading the first few scorecards of the season.

‘‘I knew after seeing a few scores that this guy had made earlier in season that he might have been a pretty strong chance. It’s actually the first time I’ve seen him bat today but he’s been very impressive,’’ Gemmill said of Van Zyl.

‘‘After watching him, we are probably very similar players in many ways.’’

Cobram president Paul Hyde knew it was always going to take something out of the ordinary to eclipse Gemmill’s feat.

‘‘It was going to take an exceptional cricketer to break the record because Steve Gemmill was a fantastic player and he played at a district level and was borderline Victoria under-19s until he hurt his shoulder but Wian is an exceptional player,’’ he said.

‘‘Steve was a batsmen/bowler — basically an all-rounder and very aggressive much like Wian.’’

The most staggering thing is the fact there are still four two-day games remaining in the home and away season.

The import has not just nudged it in; he stands to obliterate the record.

He will no doubt be eyeing off the magical mark of 1000 runs come the end of the season.

The magnitude and sheer pace of Van Zyl’s scoring this season certainly was not lost on his president.

‘‘To achieve the record before Christmas is pretty incredible really,’’ Hyde said.

He said like usual, the easy-going opener took the accolade with a slice of humility.

‘‘I had a few beers with him Saturday night and as per usual, he was very low key about it all, he doesn’t say too much. He doesn’t have a big head and he’s not an ‘I am man’. He’s just a great kid.’’