Pope's seven puts Bulls in purgatory

Cricket's newest cult hero continues meteoric rise to seal a slice of Sheffield Shield history

Flame-haired South Australian leg-spinner Lloyd Pope has sealed a spot in Sheffield Shield history by becoming the youngest bowler ever to claim a seven-wicket haul.

Pope has grown in cult hero status ever since he ripped apart England in the U19 World Cup earlier this year, and performed the same trick on the Queensland Bulls on the first day of their JLT Sheffield Shield clash at Adelaide Oval today.

Pope finished with 7-87, a maiden five-wicket haul, that saw the Bulls bowled out for 231. Three of his wickets came from his potent wrong'un – a delivery that spins back in towards the right-handers.

At 18 years and 328 days old, Pope became the youngest bowler to ever claim seven wickets, beating the previous mark held by Doug Walters set in 1965.

The previous youngest teenaged leg-spinner to take a five-wicket haul in Shield cricket was the 6-118 taken by NSW's Norval Campbell in 1926.

"I wasn't aware of that," Pope said of his place in history. "I don't really follow those statistics like that. I'm a cricket nuffie but I don't sort of hunt through the books and look for records or things like that.

"That's the first time I heard it. It's pretty good, I guess."

Pope spins a web to skittle England at World Cup

Pope may not be fussed about the records, but is still buzzing about getting a chance in first-class cricket with the match against Queensland just his second match. 

"Just walking out there at the start of play and realising my name is on the scoreboard and that's it happening – it's an amazing feeling," he said.

"It's a strange feeling to have cameras and things in my face.

"But I try and take it both ways. I know some days it will be another bloke's turn and they will take five-for. I just take it as it comes and, if it doesn't, just try and keep working on my game."

Pope's future looks to be much brighter, and his wrong'un has emerged as a major wicket-taking option for the Redbacks.

Test aspirant Joe Burns became the first to fall to the ball coming back in, struck on the pads having made a well-composed 64.

Jack Wildermuth followed a short time later, struck on the pad as Pope fizzed one back in through the gate.

And his wrong'un claimed a third when Michael Neser got himself in a tangle, inside edging the ball onto his back leg from where it dribbled onto the stumps to bowl him.

Pope's wrong'un causes chaos in Adelaide

Earlier, Pope had Sam Heazlett brilliantly caught behind by another Redbacks young-gun in Harry Nielsen after the left-hander poked at a ball going down his leg-side.

Fellow leggie Mitchell Swepson became Pope's fifth wicket on the first ball after the tea break as the Queenslander played an ugly shot at a short ball that skied for a simple catch to mid-off.

Queensland skipper Jimmy Peirson became wicket No.6 when he was undone by spin and bounce to spoon a cut short into the waiting hands of Jake Lehmann at point, and Brendan Doggett was the last man out as he slogged a shorter delivery direct to Chadd Sayers on the fence.