In-form sides to face off
Saturday, 9th February, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
In what could well be an early preview of the semi-final, South battle Central at the Alma Oval today having both scored wins last round.
Last time they met:
South 149 (R. Gillespie 38, K. Gillespie 23, J. Harvey 18; T. Smith 4-23, J. Carapellotti 2-26) def Central 106 (J. Paull 30*, T. Smith 19, R. Elvery 19; T. Boland 5-19, Waterhouse 2-11, B. Franklyn 2-31) by 43 runs
The round five clash between these two sides saw South cruise to a 43-run victory thanks to a five-wicket haul by Tyson Boland. Ryan Gillespie top scored with 38 as South were bowled out for 149 and despite a late flurry by Jarred Paull, Central never really threatened to chase it down.
South - LWWLW
It was an all-round performance by the Roos last weekend at the Alma as they had a number of contributions with the bat, headlined by a pair of thirties by Matt Reavill and Nathan Gageler, before Nathan Waterhouse ripped through the West top order and Sheldon Hall cleaned up the tail.
That win and North’s subsequent loss means South still have an outside chance of top spot.
Central - WLLLW
The Magpies picked up a huge upset win over defending premiers and the previously unbeaten Bulldogs last Saturday. Chasing 162 for victory, Adam Rhodes crashed a 59 from 60 balls before Tristen Smith (29 not out) and Paull (30 not out) saw the side home by six wickets.
That result put Central in a strong position to take out third spot although nothing is certain with three rounds to go including today.
South - B. Franklyn (c), S. Hall, M. Reavill, A. Bird, T. Boland, P. Nicholas, N. Gageler, A. Page, N. Waterhouse, L. Hebbard, M. Lihou, T. Parker (12th)
Tyson Boland and Laurence Hebbard are the two big inclusions for South today while Alex Page and Matt Lihou also return to the A Grade side with Ty Parker 12th man. Binu Sebastian, Naj Soomro, Mani Singh and Mason Squire are out from last week’s team.
Central - D. O’Mally (c), M. Maalste, A. Rhodes, L. Neal, R. Casey, S. Mateer, R. Elvery, J. Paull, B. Malthouse, T. Smith, D. Pettitt
The Magpies are unchanged from the side that defeated North last week, resisting the urge to bring in B Grade centurion Josh Joliffe or promising junior Nick Devoy.
Nathan Waterhouse - South
The left-arm quick has seemingly rediscovered his best form after taking 4-9 off four overs last week to set up South’s win. His wickets included Mackenzie Attard and Max Everuss, West’s two leading run scorers this season.
After a slow start with zero wickets in his first three games, Waterhouse now has 16 wickets at an average of 17.69 for his new club and looks to be hitting his straps at the right time of the season.
Riley Elvery - Central
With only 45 runs from seven innings, Elvery has struggled to find the form that saw him score 171 runs including a half-century last season but he remains in the A Grade side and he’ll be keen to repay that faith with some runs today.
A tall, solidly built right-hand batsmen, Elvery is strong down the ground and through mid-wicket. He’s also a viable part-time wicket-keeping option which Central should utilise to free up Tristen Smith to bowl.
Central’s experienced players finally clicked last weekend as they pulled off a fantastic run chase. Rhodes, Paull and Smith are vital if they’re to make it two wins in a row for the first time this season but skipper David O’Mally, bowler Ross Casey and all-rounder Michael Maalste are also quality players who can have a serious impact.
South, while still without Ryan Gillespie and Jack Simpson, have selected a formidable lineup that will take some beating. Their bowling attack, led by Hebbard and Waterhouse but with support from Ben Franklyn and Page, and combined with the batting of Gageler, Paul Nicholas and Arlen Bird as well as all-rounders Boland, Matt Reavill and Sheldon Hall make for a well-balanced and deep playing eleven.
WHAT: South v Central
WHEN: Today, 12:30pm
WHERE: Alma Oval