South Australia wicketkeeper Alex Carey has broken the all-time record for most dismissals in a Sheffield Shield season. Carey achieved the feat on the fourth morning of the Shield final against Victoria in Alice Springs, when he pouched a take to remove the Bushrangers' nightwatchman Chris Tremain off the bowling of Daniel Worrall.
That catch took Carey to 59 dismissals this Shield summer, passing the previous record of 58 shared by Queensland glovemen Wade Seccombe (in 2000-01) and Chris Hartley (in 2011-12). Last month Hartley, who has since announced his retirement, told ESPNcricinfo that while he rated Peter Nevill the finest wicketkeeper in the country, Carey was one to watch for the future.
"I think one to keep an eye on is Alex Carey from South Australia," Hartley said at the time. "He hasn't played a lot of cricket at this level just yet, and it's not just the fact that he's taken quite a few dismissals this year - I've kept an eye on the way he's gone about it.
"He moves well, he's got some very good basics. That's key for any cricketer, but certainly for wicketkeepers: if you don't have your basics in order, when you're under pressure or fatigued that gets found out."
Carey, 25, has not only had an outstanding season with the gloves, but has also compiled 549 Shield runs at 32.29. Although he is still searching for his maiden first-class century, his efforts make him just the fourth man to complete the double of 500 runs and 50 dismissals in a Shield season - Hartley did so three times, while Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Wade have each achieved the feat once.
Carey's efforts are all the more impressive given that this has been his first full season as South Australia's first-choice wicketkeeper. He made his debut in February 2013 and entered this season with seven games to his name, having previously been second in line behind Tim Ludeman for the state's wicketkeeping duties.