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‘Smith was key in club’s promotion’

Chare Smith's game has gone up a notch since joining newly crowned Bristol & District Cricket Senior Division champions Frenchay Cricket Club, according to former club captain Mike Donaldson.

The 20-year-old fast bowler has made steady strides over the past two seasons with the club, where he has impressed with the new ball.

Smith claimed 13 wickets in as many league and cup appearances for Frenchay this season at an average of 29.92.

His best bowling figures arrived in his team's one-wicket win over Coalpit Heath in June, claiming three for 25.

“With a bit more luck he could have had more wickets this season,” Donaldson told The Royal Gazette. “He regularly beat the bat with the new ball but couldn't find the edge.

“He's opened the bowling most of the season with Ben Stoddart. They have been the most prolific opening partnership in the league.

“He's probably a bit unlucky to be playing in the best bowling attack in the league; he would have bowled more in other teams.”

Smith, the grandson of former Cleveland County and St George's Cup Match fast bowler Robert Simons, has been playing for Frenchay while studying motor mechanics at Bristol College.

“He's played last two seasons for us while he has been studying in the city,” Donaldson added. “He contacted us in his first winter over here, came along to nets and settled in really well.

“He's been a great guy to have around the club. I believe his cricket will have benefited from his two summers in English conditions.”

Smith, who made his debut for St George's in Cup Match this summer, has also impressed in the field.

“He's a fantastic fielder; a great pair of hands,” said Donaldson, the Frenchay opening batsman.

“He does a very good job in the deep for us at the end of an innings. He's fast across the ground, with a very good arm.”

Smith has enjoyed the challenges of playing in England.

“It's been amazing playing over there,” he said. “It's a different level of cricket and it always feels good to be challenged.

“It's helped improve my game because I am thinking more.

“The first couple of games I had to get adjusted to the way the ball swings in England. I've just been doing what I do best: bowling my line and length.” Frenchay, one of the oldest clubs in the Bristol area, clinched the championship with a six-wicket win over Pak Bristolians last weekend.

“It felt really nice to clinch promotion [to the West of England Premier League],” Smith said.

That match was played on the same day as St David's three-wicket triumph over Cleveland County at Sea Breeze Oval last weekend. Smith played as a colt for St David's.

“It always feels good to win [the Eastern Counties], especially in your first year,” Smith said. “It's always a little bit of pressure going into a team for the first time for a competition like Eastern Counties.”

Smith's cousin, Cejay Outerbridge, also featured for St David's against their grandfather's former club.

“My grandpa is a proud supporter of his grandsons and he was happy for the both of us,” Smith added.

“He's is a big influence in my career and is always sharing his experience with me.”

Busy summer: Chare Smith claimed 13 wickets for English club Frenchay (Photograph by Lawrence Trott)

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Published September 06, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 06, 2018 at 1:01 am)

‘Smith was key in club’s promotion’

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