25 November 2021 | Story Jóhann Thormählen | Photo Cricket South Africa.
Sean Whitehead took all the wickets in an innings while playing for South Western Districts against Easterns. The Kovsie ended with the second-best bowling figures (10/36) in the history of South African domestic cricket.

He is only 24 years old and has a promising cricket career ahead of him, but Sean Whitehead knows he has probably already achieved the biggest highlight of his life.

The University of the Free State (UFS) student says he is still trying to make sense of what happened after bowling his name into the South African record books.

The left-arm spinner, who plays for South Western Districts, stunned himself and the cricketing world when he took all ten wickets (10/36 in 12,1 overs) in the second innings against the Eastern Storm on Saturday 20 November 2021.

He finished with the second-best bowling figures in the history of South African domestic cricket, becoming only the fourth South African to take ten wickets in a first-class innings and only the second to take five wickets in one innings and ten in the other.

Whitehead, who is studying for an Honours in Marketing, bowled Easterns out by himself for 65 in Oudtshoorn and helped SWD to a 120-run victory in Division 2 of the Cricket South Africa 4-Day Franchise Series.

His exceptional feat is the second best after Bert Vogler (10/26) for Eastern Province against Griqualand West back in 1906.

“It definitely ranks as my number one achievement and I could see it being that for the rest of my career, as only a handful of people in history have been able to accomplish it,” he says.

According to Whitehead, who has represented the UFS and South African U19 side, his previous best professional figures were 6/27 – in 2020 for the Free State against Easterns.

Although his achievement wasn’t something he aspired to, he says “to be part of an elite group like that is something dreams are made of and not what I actually believed I could achieve in cricket”.

Whitehead also improved the SWD first-class record of Ottneil Baartman (14/95) for most wickets in a game. The Kovsie bagged 5/64 in the first innings in Oudtshoorn and finished with figures of 15/100.

As if his bowling was not enough, the all-rounder also scored 66 and 45 with the bat against Easterns.

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