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Lehmann wins Neil Dansie Medal

Jake Lehmann has won his first Neil Dansie Medal as the most outstanding South Australian male cricketer of the season. Young allrounder Tahlia McGrath also claimed her first Andrea McCauley Trophy for a standout Women's National Cricket League campaign. Lehmann polled 112 votes to finish ahead of two-time Dansie Medallist Joe Mennie (106), and Jake Weatherald who finished on 104 votes. The 26-year-old made his first-class debut in the 2014-15 season and scored his maiden century (205) the following year against Tasmania in Hobart. His father Darren’s maiden century for South Australia was also a double hundred. Given captaincy of the West End Redbacks at the start of the season in place of Travis Head who was on international duty, Lehmann led from the front in the JLT One-Day Cup, with 259 runs at 51.80 from six matches. He enjoyed a strong start at the helm of the Redbacks at the beginning of the JLT Sheffield Shield season, leading South Australia in three games scoring a century in the draw with the Queensland Bulls at Adelaide Oval, and back to back half-centuries in the draw with New South Wales at the SCG. Lehmann was the Redbacks’ top Shield run-scorer for the year with 572 and a high score of 126, ranking him just outside of the competition’s top 10. McGrath, who polled 75 votes, was able to edge out experienced batter Bridget Patterson (66 votes) and wicketkeeper Tegan McPharlin (60 votes) to claim the top State award. The 23-year-old excelled in the pivotal no.3 position, with 198 runs across her six WNCL matches including a magnificent century (105) against a strong Victorian team in Round 1. She was ranked inside the league’s top 10 run-scorers, with an average of 72.79 across the six matches, and she also chimed in with some economical spells with the ball. For the second consecutive year, Sophie Devine and Rashid Khan were voted the Adelaide Strikers’ Most Valuable Players in yet another standout season for the imports. Allrounder Devine smashed all kinds of records in rebel WBBL|04; she was the first Striker – male or female – to notch more than 500 runs in a season with 556 and also to reach 1,000 runs for the club, finishing with an average of 46.33 from 13 matches. The 29-year-old also led the bowling charts, taking 14 wickets and becoming the first female Striker to take a five-wicket haul. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan had another outstanding campaign for the Strikers, playing every match of KFC BBL|08 with a total of 19 wickets - a record haul for a Striker in a single BBL series - to rank equal-fifth on the tournament wicket-takers list. He consistently challenged the competition’s best batsmen even when not taking wickets. Rashid’s bowling economy of 6.14 was the second-best of any player to bowl more than three overs in BBL|08. Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa scooped the JLT One-Day Cup Player of the Year and One-Day Cup Bowling Trophy for his 12 wickets at an average of 25.41. Experienced batsman Callum Ferguson convincingly claimed the JLT Cup Batting Trophy for his 328 runs at an average of 54.66 and a high score of 133. Emerging spinner Lloyd Pope claimed the Barry Jarman Most Improved trophy after a dream start to his first-class career when he took 7-87 on debut in the first innings against Queensland at Adelaide Oval. Fast bowler Elliot Opie received the Barry “Nugget” Rees Award recognising passion, humility, honesty, integrity, teamwork and respect for the game of cricket. Opie put his finance career on hold in 2017-18 to train with the Redbacks as an uncontracted player, consequently earning a contract for this season and leading Premier Cricket side Kensington to the title. Eliza Doddridge earned the WNCL Most Improved award after making her State debut this season and scoring her maiden half-century in just her fourth game for the Scorpions.

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