LEIGH cricketer Matty Hurst enjoyed a brilliant first-class debut for Lancashire as the teenager registered an unbeaten half-century.

Hurst, 19, is from Billinge and began his cricketing journey at Newton le Willows but for the last three years he has played at Liverpool Competition Premier League side, Leigh, where former Red Rose County Championship and Blast winner, Karl Brown, is captain.

The wicket keeper / batter made his first-team debut for Lancashire in the one day side having signed his maiden rookie professional contract at Emirates Old Trafford at the start of last winter.

This week saw him selected for Lancashire's home game with Nottinghamshire and although the game itself ended in a rain-affected draw, Hurst excelled scoring 54 not out.

Leigh Journal: Matty Hurst batting on his debut for Lancashire Matty Hurst batting on his debut for Lancashire (Image: Barry Mitchell)

“It was a dream come true to make my debut and long may it continue," he said.

“With the England games being played and Tommy (Hartley) and Salty (Phil Salt) going, plus Dane (Vilas) retiring, I knew there was an opportunity for me.

“I found out on Monday I was going to play but having had two days sat in the dressing room, I wasn’t really nervous. It didn’t really hit me until I was walking out.

“As soon as I’d hit a couple of balls, I was pretty calm and just kept going.

“It was great to bat with Crofty (Steven Croft). He’s experienced and gave me a lot of confidence, telling me what to do, and keeping me calm.

“He talked me through what was happening and obviously he’s been around the block so it was quite cool to be out there with him.”

“This game and the one next week, if I’m involved, are an opportunity. If I can perform well who knows what could happen next year.

Hurst certainly caught the eye of his captain with Keaton Jennings full of praise for the teenager after the game concluded.

“Matty (Hurst) made his debut and stood up and played beautifully," said Jennings. "He looked like he had been here for many years rather than making his debut.

“It takes you back to the first time you went out to bat in a first-class game. It’s a big event in your life.

“It’s huge for him to come out on top and get a fifty not out. He’ll take a huge amount of confidence from that, as he should.

“I’m over the moon for him, and hopefully he can continue to kick on and make good choices with the bat."