FORMER Great Ayton cricketer Ian West, hit the headlines in New Zealand last weekend when he starred for Samoa in their opening East Asia-Pacific T20 championship match against Japan.
The tournament, involving seven ICC affiliate nations, is taking place in Auckland over the next week and is the first qualifying round in the 2014 T20 World Cup, the finals of which take place in Bangladesh.
Japan started well, reaching 48-1 before West’s introduction to the attack heralded a collapse as he ripped out the heart of their batting, claiming five wickets for ten runs in his allotted four overs, and clean bowling three of his victims in the process.
Needing just 86 for victory, Samoa lost skipper Murphy Sua, the former New Zealand Test player, for just seven, but went on to record a comfortable eight-wicket success.
With five wicket hauls extremely rare in international T20 cricket, West unsurprisingly received the man-of-thematch award.
To be eligible to represent Samoa, West was required to do 100 days’ work in the country. As well as undertaking voluntary work with disadvantaged children, the past few months have seen him in a role as a performance coach for the international squad.