D’Oliveira rides opening ‘ups and downs’

Brett D’OliveiraFile image: Brett D'Oliveira

St Augustine Cricket Club recruit Brett D’Oliveira is relishing a permanent berth at the top of the batting order, during Worcestershire’s ongoing County Championship Division Two title pursuit across the United Kingdom.

D’Oliveira moved up and down the order during St Augustine CC’s Western Province Cricket Union 2015-16 premier league campaign. While a fine 98 not out against Bellville Cricket Club epitomised the success of the flexibility, a disappointing duck and eight against Durbanville Cricket Club questioned the approach.

He has, however, since been deployed exclusively as an opening batsman by Worcestershire – and collected a string of impressive innings through March, April and May, pleasing those who bet on cricket and the batsman himself.

A first-class career-best 122 against Oxford Marylebone Cricket Club was later bettered by a patient 128 against Essex. This week’s unbeaten 202 against Glamorgan, though, topped one and all.

“Opening is something I didn’t think I would be doing a couple of years ago. Fingers crossed, I’ve never looked back. Opening has its ups and downs, but I am enjoying it,” said the talented right-hander.

“It is an opportunity and the team is backing me. It’s great to have that backing, so I’ve just got to keep it up, really. Have I changed my technique? Not drastically. I’ve just got to be a bit more patient, really.

It’s more about the mental side of things, not my technique, but thinking about things a bit more. I think in the longer format, if you take time out of the game and bat for long periods, you will score runs, so it’s just about staying at the crease.”

The 24-year-old is the grandson of former England batsman Basil D’Oliveira.