Roffey overseas Ben Manenti says making Sydney Sixers’ BBL debut was ‘unbelievable feeling’

Cricket: Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham v Roffey.  Ben Manenti. Pic Steve Robards SR1823048 SUS-180309-110154001
Cricket: Southern Combination League Premier Division: Horsham v Roffey. Ben Manenti. Pic Steve Robards SR1823048 SUS-180309-110154001

Roffey overseas cricketer Ben Manenti has described putting in a star showing on his Big Bash League debut for the Sydney Sixers as an ‘unbelievable feeling’.

Manenti, 21, was a big part of Roffey’s incredible season in 2018 and completed a brilliant year by earning the player-of-the-match honours on debut for his match-turning spell at Marvel Stadium against the Melbourne Renegades.

After finding out only an hour before play he’d been picked in the final XI, off-spinner Manenti displayed the composure of a veteran in conceding just 13 from his four overs and claiming the key wickets of the Melbourne Renegades’ two top scorers - Mackenzie Harvey and Tom Cooper.

His figures were the most economical ever returned by a BBL debutant.

The Sixers were only defending 132-7 and managed to restrict the Renegades to just 99-9 from their 20 overs.

He then went on to opening the bowling in the Sixers’ five-wicket win over Brisbane Heat, taking figures of 0-25.

Speaking to the County Times after his debut, Manenti said: “It was an unbelievable feeling the atmosphere was incredible the ground was like a cauldron everyone felt on top of you.

“It was a fair surprise (to be called into the side). I’d been in the academy and had booked to go on holidays, but obviously I’d much rather be here.

“To get the man of the match accolade is something quite special, but again not something that you play for or expect, it was just really nice to contribute to a win.”

Manenti scored 449 runs with two 50s and one century last season as Roffey won the Sussex Cricket League Premier Division. He also took 28 wickets with a best of 8-39.

His seasons over in England have paid a part in his rise and having made his BBL bow, he has spoken of his chances of returning to England.

He added: “I’d told Davo (Roffey captain Matt Davies)that I’d be Roffey’s overseas player again next summer. So as far as I’m aware that is still the plan.”

As well as capturing titles for The Boars, Manenti has played for Sydney Cricket Club in NSW Premier Cricket back home.

Three strong seasons saw him earn an opportunity at Futures League level with the ACT on the back of a strong recommendation from former Test keeper Brad Haddin.

Manenti, who has sporting pedigree with his father John the coach of the Australian rugby women’s sevens team, is joined in the Sydney Sixers side by Englishmen Joe Denly and Tom Curran and former Cuckfield overseas star Jordan Silk.