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SOUTHERN STARS V SOUTH AFRICA

Wellington makes another grand entrance

28 November 2016

Wellington didn't waste any time in her international debut // Getty

Leg-spinner reflects on memorable debut, which included a wicket with her first delivery

Teenage leg-spinner Amanda-Jade Wellington certainly knows how to make an entrance.

In her one-day international debut for the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars on Sunday, Wellington deceived South Africa's all-time leading runscorer Mignon du Preez with her very first delivery, 'keeper Alyssa Healy whipping off the bails to leave the ex-Proteas captain stumped for five.

Wellington strikes with first international ball

She finished the most economical of the Australian bowlers with 1-35 and was unlucky not to get a second wicket with a tough chance off Dane van Niekerk put down at first slip.

She might only be 19-years-old, but Wellington – who in 2012 became the youngest player ever to represent South Australia aged just 15 years and 150 days – has been on the cusp of an international call-up for several years.

With Australia's selectors eager to give opportunities to in-form young players ahead of next year's 50-over World Cup in England, Wellington's call-up finally came when she was added to the 13-player Southern Stars squad for the final two ODIs against the Proteas.

An injury to incumbent leg-spinner Kristen Beams then opened the door to the playing XI.

Wellington, McGrath receive ODI caps

Blessed with the ability to find prodigious spin and a serious wicket-taking threat, Wellington wasted no time proving why she's become one of the most dangerous bowlers on the Australian domestic circuit.

"I wasn't expecting that," Wellington – who taught herself to bowl leg-spin in her backyard growing up, inspired by Shane Warne – said of her maiden ODI wicket after the match.

"I just told myself to bowl the consistent lines I was bowling through the Women's National Cricket League season and I think the adrenaline from batting was still in my body.

"I was just focused on pitching on off-stump, doing what I normally do, giving it a bit of air and turning it away. Luckily enough I got a stumping."

It's certainly not the first dramatic entrance Wellington has made.

The Adelaide native was born 'en-caul' - in the amniotic sac, something that occurs in fewer than one in 80,000 births – and had to be resuscitated upon her arrival into the world.

60 seconds with Amanda-Jade Wellington

Babies born en-caul are said to be blessed with life-long good luck, but whether that has added an edge to her obvious natural talents or not, Wellington is already making a habit of grabbing attention on the big stage.

Even before her maiden ODI wicket on Sunday, Wellington captured the attention of cricket fans during the New Year's Eve WBBL|01 clash last summer, putting on a clinic for the Strikers as she claimed 3-13 against the Scorchers at Adelaide Oval.

That performance drew praise from Australia great and BBL commentator Adam Gilchrist, who said he had not "seen loop, dip and turn like that for quite some time".

Wily Wellington snares three

Then just last month, Wellington snared the prize wicket of world No.1 batter Meg Lanning for just two runs in the Women's National Cricket League.

Not that she's been reminding the Australia skipper of that fact in Coffs Harbour.

"She's obviously a world class batter, so I was pretty happy with that but I'll keep that to myself."

A colourful character on and off the field, Wellington has a passion for vintage cars away from cricket, restoring a 1973 kombi van which she plans to turn into a roving coffee business.

Immediately though, Wellington's focus is on Australia's fifth and final ODI against South Africa in Coffs Harbour on Tuesday, where she hopes to be granted a second opportunity with the Southern Stars.

"I'll take every opportunity if I get the call-up again, I really enjoyed my time out there with the girls and they got around me when I got my wicket and throughout my overs, so I was pretty happy with that."

Entry to the final ODI at Coffs International Stadium is FREE and the match can be streamed live and free on cricket.com.au

Meg Lanning Steve Smith

About the Writer

 @JollyLauz18
@JollyLauz18

Laura Jolly is a writer for cricket.com.au. She previously wrote for News Corp Australia and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. 

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