Naenae bowler heading for record

NICHOLAS BOYACK
Last updated 10:36 03/04/2012
HUTAdamweb
DEAN PEMBERTON

Bowling along: Naenae medium pacer Adam Williams has taken an impressive 58 wickets for his team this season.

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The name Adam Williams is set to appear alongside some illustrious company on the Naenae Cricket Club's honours board.

The medium pacer has achieved the rare milestone of taking 58 senior wickets so far this season. He has already beaten Ewen Chatfield's 57 and should pass another Naenae legend, Russell "Squeaky" Robinson, who is second with 60.

Robinson also holds first place because in one season he nabbed an amazing 79 wickets.

For a player who has never got more than 30 wickets in his 11 years of senior cricket and who is better known as a batsman, 58 wickets represents a great effort.

Originally from Upper Hutt, Williams has strong links to Naenae. His mother, Jenny Williams, played during a strong era for women's cricket at the club.

After joining in the late 1990s, Williams spent a couple of seasons in the lower grades before making his senior debut.

Although he always fancied himself as an all-rounder, he has mostly played as a batsman.

During much of his career, he has had the misfortune to play beside a host of bowling all- rounders.

With players like Cameron and Steve Cross, Robbie Bird, Shane Battock, Ronald Karaitiana, Grant Elliott and Jesse Ryder in the team, opportunities have been limited.

"It has been tough getting a bowl but times have changed and I have got a bit better and forced my way in there."

The reaction among his team- mates to his wicket-taking has been mixed.

"There has been disbelief, to be honest. I am not the world's quickest bowler but if you can bowl wicket to wicket, the chances are they will make a mistake and you will be successful."

Williams is not the only Naenae bowler to have got among the wickets. Fast bowler Michael Cornish has also passed the 50 mark and Williams says he is surprised Cornish has not played more rep cricket.

"He has been really consistent all year. He has been unlucky not to be ahead of me but there has been a few dropped catches."

With Williams and Cornish claiming nearly 120 wickets between them, it is no coincidence that Naenae are in the three-day final against Easts over Easter.

Although Williams is "absolutely stoked" to have got so many wickets, he says his main focus has always been on helping Naenae win the title.

In recent years, Wellington teams have dominated and he says it would be nice to see a Hutt Valley team get its name on the trophy.

At 29, he still holds out hope of playing limited-overs cricket for Wellington and has no thoughts of retiring on a high.

"As long as the body holds out, I will keep playing."

One thing is certain - his career will finish with Naenae.

"There is no better club in the world. They have it all - a beautiful park and surroundings and a great atmosphere."

Naenae lost heavily to Karori on Saturday but will meet Easts in the final this weekend.

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