England Men's Tour of Australia
The baby-faced rookie who bested England
Unknown Western Australian took down some of the world's best in a thrilling tour-match blitz against England
6 November 2017, 05:07 PM AEST
Asked to take on two of England's greatest-ever bowlers wielding a brand new ball, baby-faced batsman Josh Philippe thrived in a role he hadn't performed since his junior days and in the process managed to get under the skin of star quick James Anderson.
Admitting he hadn't opened the batting since the under-15s before this summer, Philippe not only negotiated an opening burst from Anderson and partner-in-crime Stuart Broad, he lashed England for 16 boundaries in an exhilarating knock for a Western Australia XI on Sunday.
The 20-year-old with no first-class experience eventually fell 12 runs short of a century against a strong, albeit underdone, England attack in their first hit-out of their Magellan Ashes tour.
Philippe showed no fear against his seasoned Test opponents, dispatching Broad for back-to-back fours in his opening over of the tour while an exquisite on-drive off Anderson was one of the shots of the innings.
"I just thought there was nothing to lose with a game like this," he told reporters after his 92-ball 88 at the WACA Ground.
"It was a great opportunity to play against some world-class bowlers. I just thought I'd go out, have a bit of fun and play my shots. It was a good wicket to bat on.
"WA has shown a bit of faith in me and chucked me up the order and given me a crack.
"I've done well … hopefully I can keep it going."
Anderson extracted some measure of revenge when he struck Philippe in a cricketer's most sensitive of regions, leaving the youngster gasping for air.
But England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker's hopes of softening up his target before a decisive blow were nixed the following ball, as the youngster streakily edged him through third man for four.
And while Philippe wouldn't reveal precisely what Anderson said to him, the Western Australian admitted some choice words – likely not the last uttered on this tour – were spoken.
"Jimmy Anderson wasn't too impressed early doors," a smiling Phillippe said.
"I just laughed it off because it was just great to be out there and it was a great experience.
"I couldn't really tell you (what Anderson said) to be honest, he just said a couple of things walking past.
"It was all in a friendly nature. I think he just wasn't too impressed I got hold of him early."
Phillippe, who struck 93 and 64 for WA in their opening Toyota Futures League match of the summer against Tasmania last month, again opened the batting for the Warriors' second XI on Monday and struck 31 against NSW Country/ACT on first day of their four-day match in Perth.
The right-hander, who plays for Scarborough in WA Premier Cricket, is fresh off a bumper season in the United Kingdom with Newcastle Cricket Club in the North East Premier League.
He struck 1362 runs at a tick under 60 for Newcastle this winter, the same club that last year featured Ben Stokes in a pair of matches on his return from injury, to kick-start his 2017-18 summer back home.
But despite building an impressive body of work in England and now against their Test side, Australian cricket fans need not worry about losing him to the old enemy.
Philippe said he isn't likely to return to the UK next summer due to the increasing difficulty for foreign amateur cricketers to obtain an entry visa, and confirmed he has neither an English passport nor a French one (despite the intonation required for his surname).
"Unfortunately for me, I'm full Australian," he said to the laughter of the British press pack, before correcting himself: "Well, not unfortunately. I'm proud to be full Australian."
2017-18 International Fixtures:
Magellan Ashes Series
First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets
Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets
Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets
Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets
Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets
Gillette ODI Series v England
First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets
Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets
Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets
Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets
Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF
Prime Minister's XI
PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets
Gillette T20 INTL Series
First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets
Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets
Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets
Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13
Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16
Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18
Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21