Angus Jemmett. Mid Canterbury cricketer Angus Jemmett seldom has an off day and his all-round capabilities with bat and ball have led to some impressive numbers at both school and representative level. Adam Burns caught up with the 16-year-old and found out what is driving the Ashburton College pupil to the top.
If anyone has the golden touch when it comes to Mid Canterbury cricketing talent it may well be Angus Jemmett.
The Ashburton College Year 12 pupil has been earmarked as an all-rounder of immense promise and his outrageous numbers can not be overstated.
You could argue that his abilities cover off two areas which New Zealand Cricket circles have struggled with; in that he is a run-thirsty opening batsman and a wicket-taking spinner.
As far as he is concerned, he does not identify with either discipline over the other.
“You can have an off day with the bat and come back with the ball, or not have the best day with the ball and come back with the bat.
“It’s pretty hard to split between the two to be honest.”
Captain of the Mid Canterbury under-17 side, he was dragged into the senior representative team last month where the 16-year-old made an instant impression.
Jemmett hit 108 on debut against Otago Country in their Hawke Cup clash in Alexandra in January.
However it should hardly come as a surprise, as every watershed moment Jemmett has encountered, he has exhibited a natural ability.
Making a switch to off spin was a pivotal moment at the age of 10.
“I used to bowl medium pacers then decided to change to off spin,” he said.
“I got five wickets for zero runs that day so I was pretty stoked.
“Have stuck to off spin since then.”
On that particular day, the youngster bowled a double hat-trick, he recalls.
Coming from a strong cricketing family, Jemmett has a Mid Canterbury stronghold of handy cricketers and coaches in his lineage.
“It’s a pretty big cricketing family,” he said.
He also credits the likes of cricket coach Mark Reid in assisting his bowling.
Jemmett grew up idolising the likes of Black Caps heroes Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, alongside Indian captain Virat Kohli and Australian spinner Nathan Lyon.
As a member of Ashburton College’s 1st XI, he tops both the run-scoring and wicket-taking tallies this season.
Last year, he was in prodigious all-round touch in a two-day game against St Thomas of Canterbury where he scored 122 and secured a 10-wicket match haul, including 7-86 in the second innings.
He said another highlight was his recent performance against Timaru Boys’ High School, where he again did the damage with both bat and ball.
Jemmett scored 132 in Ashburton’s first innings total of 236/5 declared during the two day game a fortnight ago.
He then bowled his side into a match winning position in the second innings with 5-66.
As an opening bat, he made the switch about two years ago, initially in a makeshift capacity.
“I usually batted at three or four.
“Then we had no openers and I got asked to open. Then I thought I may as well take the opportunity.
“It’s not easy but I do enjoy it.”
He has been among the runs at both school and representative levels.
When it comes to batting, he has a very uncomplicated approach, always treating each ball on its merits early on in his innings.
“To start off, I look for singles and hit the boundary balls.
“And then later in the innings, I try and up the run rate.”
Undoubtedly one of Ashburton College’s key players, the 1st XI are tracking well in the Canterbury Schools’ second grade competition.
Jemmett said the side are in the awkward position where they go well in the second grade but struggle making the step up to the premier level.
He is a part of a two-pronged spin attack for his school which includes leg-spinner Liam Sullivan.
“We work well in partnership,” he said.
“Most games we get about eight wickets (combined).”
He also likes to keep well involved in the field.
Although usually fielding in the slips, he says he gets limited opportunities due to the slow and low nature of the typical local wicket.
“I only took my first slip catch in two years the other weekend.”
Jemmett has plenty more opportunities to shine this summer both for Mid Canterbury and Ashburton College.
Moving forward, he is eyeing up the red and black of Canterbury and “building from there”.
And at this stage, higher honours seem an inevitability for this more-than-capable cricketer.
By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 15 February 2020