Robins with a chance
Saturday, 22nd December, 2018
By Tyler Hannigan
Both South and West will be eager to take a win and momentum into the holiday break when they clash today at the Alma Oval.
Last time they met:
South 113 (A. Bird 39, J. Simpson 15; C. Ferguson 2-14, P. Attard 2-15, PA. Attard 2-19) def West 8 for 101 (L. Kaye 26, M. Attard 25; S. Hall 3-21, L. Hebbard 2-16) by 12 runs
West bowled well to restrict a powerful South batting lineup to just 113, built around the returning Arlen Bird’s 39, in round seven’s T20 and were in the game until some superb death bowling by Sheldon Hall tipped the match into South’s favour.
South - WWLWD
Last weekend’s T20 clash with North was abandoned due to rain but South’s form has been strong this year as they comfortably sit in second spot on the Demo Club A Grade ladder after eight rounds.
Skipper Ben Franklyn and experienced pace bowler Laurence Hebbard lead their bowling attack with 12 and 11 wickets respectively.
West - LLLLD
It has been a tough first half of the season for the Robins with their only win so far coming back in round three. Since then, they’ve lost four straight games as well as splitting the points last weekend with Central due to the cancellation of the match.
Captain Mackenzie Attard leads the way with the bat for West with three starts (17, 16 and 25) to go with a stellar 83 against Central in round six.
South - B. Franklyn (c), S. Hall, W. Gepp, M. Reavill, M. Lihou, RV. Kumar, B. Sebastian, J. Harvey, A. Page, L. Hebbard, N. Waterhouse
The Roos have been forced into a host of changes due to injuries and the unavailability of some players. RV Kumar, Binu Sebastian and Matt Lihou come up from B Grade while Wade Gepp will play his first game of the season and Jason Harvey returns.
Ryan Gillespie, Jack Simpson, Mani Singh, Paul Nicholas and Bird are out.
West - M. Attard, P. Attard, M. Everuss, N. Schofield, C. Pearce, A. Ferguson, L. Kaye, C. Stenhouse, D. Milne, C. Ferguson, C. Rosewarn
Max Everuss comes into the side, as does Daniel Milne and Callum Rosewarn while Paddric Attard, Jordan Meehan and Bobby Harvey miss out.
Laurence Hebbard - South
A South veteran, Hebbard has led the bowling attack with aplomb over the years with the ability to swing it both ways and at pace and provide handy lower order runs when he gets going.
His form has continued in 2018/19 with 11 wickets at an average of just 11.27 from six games. The fact he’s already played six of a possible seven games this season is a win for South given Hebbard’s work commitments limited him to only 15 A Grade appearances over the last two seasons.
Daniel Milne - West
Milne might be limited as a batsman but it makes him no less dangerous once he gets his eye in. He possesses great power when hitting over mid-wicket and straight down the ground.
Milne scored 25 in quick time against Central back in round six, his most recent A Grade appearance, and he’s been in brutal form for West’s B Grade side scoring 32, 20* and 49* in his three innings.
Today presents a great opportunity for the Robins against an understrength South side, especially on the batting side of things.
With Bird, Gillespie, Nicholas and Simpson out, South’s batting is wafer thin. They’ll need their top two run scorers - Hall and Matt Reavill - to do the bulk of the scoring but others such as Harvey, Alex Page and big hitters Sebastian and Hebbard also need to contribute.
Everuss’ inclusion is huge for West’s batting and their bowling attack remains solid if inexperienced, apart from veteran Paul Attard.
One unknown going into the game today is the new Alma Oval pitch and how it will play. There’s likely to be a fair covering of grass which is sure to excite the bowlers.
WHAT: South v West A Grade
WHEN: Today, 12:30pm
WHERE: Alma Oval