Mortlake cricketer Tyler Schafer may be young, but his batting aggregate holds him in good stead ahead of today s grand final against Noorat.TYLER Schafer is someone who knows what it’s like to perform on the big stage.
Nanjing Night Net

He was captain of Mortlake’s under 16s last season, steering his side to glory in the grand final with a century.

This weekend the 16-year-old finds himself on a bigger stage, hoping to help Mortlake to victory in the 2011-12 South West Cricket (SWC) division one grand final against Noorat at Terang.

The Cats are desperate to shake their underachiever tag.

Despite making nine out of the past 10 semi-finals, they do not have a premiership to show for them.

They lost to Terang in last year’s season decider, with Schafer experiencing the angst in his first full season in the association’s top grade.

“It didn’t feel too good because we were probably the best team going around,” he said.

“But at least we’ve got another chance this year.”

The teenager is the youngest member of Mortlake’s grand final side but looking at his statistics, you might think he is a more seasoned batsman.

He has knocked a total of 408 runs this season — the fifth highest aggregate in the association — while his average is an impressive 40.8.

The right-hander opens the batting with Josh Barr.

“We’ve had a few good partnerships but sometimes one of us will lose our head,” he said.

“I just try to make runs for the team.”

It’s a simple goal that he has managed to fulfil this season, producing five half-centuries including a 66 against Noorat in round six.

Schafer said he had more respect for Noorat after the side came from fourth and demolished minor premier Terang in last weekend’s semi-final.

“They were the underdogs,” he said.

“I didn’t think they were going to beat Terang but they did.

“They’ve got a pretty handy bowling attack.”

The Mortlake College student believes playing representative cricket for SWC at Colts Country Week and the Western Waves Twenty20 Festival of Cricket had helped him this season.

He also appreciates being at a club that boasts several of the association’s leading cricketers.

“It’s good to have people like Shane Slater, Clinton Baker and Todd Lamont around because if you’re ever in trouble, they can help you out,” he said.

The SWC division one grand final will be played at Terang turf today and tomorrow, starting at 12.30pm.

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