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December 29, 2021

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Debutante Boland becomes instant Ashes cult hero

Test debutante Scott Boland etched his name in the record books and became an instant cult hero in Australian cricket with an astonishing six-wicket haul that wrapped up the Ashes on day three of the third test in Melbourne yesterday.

Plucked from obscurity when called up by selectors on Christmas Eve, the 32-year-old Victoria paceman finished with outrageous innings figures of 6-7 in four overs, sending his home crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground into delirium. Dismissing opener Haseeb Hameed (7) and night watchman Jack Leach in his first over late on day two, Boland returned yesterday to trap Jonny Bairstow leg before wicket for five in his second over. His third over produced the prized wicket of England skipper Joe Root (28), with his fourth accounting for tailenders Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson, each going for ducks. Along the way he matched the 19-ball record for the fastest five-wicket haul in tests shared by England’s Stuart Broad at the 2015 Ashes and Australia’s Ernie Toshack in 1947. Finishing with a seven-wicket match haul in a thumping innings and 14-run win, Boland could not have asked for a better debut. “I’ve never had a crowd behind me like that,” said Boland, who slotted into the side after injuries to pacemen Josh Hazlewood and Jhye Richardson. Boland is only the second Indigenous Australian male to play a test after Jason Gillespie, who played his last test in 2006. The bowler grew up unaware of his Indigenous heritage, which includes links to the Gulidjan people, an Aboriginal tribe from the western part of his home state Victoria.


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