West End Redbacks fast bowler Jordan Buckingham has gone inside the moment that secured his team a win in “the best game of cricket [he’s] been involved in”.
With Queensland needing just four runs for victory in the dying stages of the Marsh Sheffield Shield clash at the Gabba and international player Usman Khawaja at the crease with an unbeaten century, Buckingham sent a seed crashing into his leg stump.
The Redbacks erupted when that wicket secured them one of the closest victories in Sheffield Shield history, with Buckingham tearing off to fine leg, his teammates hardly able to catch him.
Buckingham said the emotions took over after his ball rattled the stumps.
“Obviously it was a pretty surreal feeling,” Buckingham said.
“The boys bowled absolutely brilliantly, so I just reaped the rewards of some pretty good bowling.
“It was pretty emotional out there, the boys were boys up and about.
“I don't think they could catch me. I just sort of took off and ran.”
When he got to fine leg and his teammates finally caught up with him, Buckingham put his fingers to his lips in a shooshing motion, raising questions about who that was directed to.
“The crowd had a little bit for me during the game at points so may have given them a little shoosh there,” Buckingham said with a laugh.
“It was directed to the crowd, they had a bit for me in one of my overs to Khawaja when we were bowling to bouncer plans.
“I was just trying to trying to rev the crowd up a little bit.”
So, does he know what his top speed was during the sprint to fine leg?
“I don't know what my top speed was, but I'll be intrigued – I certainly took off there,” he said.
“I'll be finding that out soon, I think I would have got a new max velocity definitely.”
Buckingham’s heroics aside, the game was set up by twin centuries to Henry Hunt and Nathan McSweeney and Player of the Match Nathan McAndrew, who took nine wickets for the match including some crucial ones to set up the victory on the final day.
Post-match, Buckingham suggested there was “no doubt that McAndrew will be in a Baggy Green one day”, but McAndrew was happier to pump up his younger teammate.
“Jordan Buckingham just came up huge for us there and is as competitive as anybody I’ve ever met, so no surprises he was able to come home for us in that moment,” McAndrew said.
“One of the closest games in the history of the Sheffield Shield and it was just a rollercoaster so to come out on the right side, it was an amazing feeling.”
Now, McAndrew, Buckingham and their teammates will be using this feeling as inspiration ahead of the second half of the Shield season.
“That was certainly the best game of cricket I’ve ever been involved in, what a moment,” Buckingham said.
“It's an outstanding win, we probably had our backs against the wall after the last fixture so to come out and stand up when we we're almost dead and buried there, I think that's huge.”
Next week, the Redbacks will travel to Perth for another Sheffield Shield clash against Western Australia, beginning on Wednesday.