Saturday, 23rd February, 2019
By Tyler Hannigan
South and Central will get one last look at each other today before they meet in the semi-final next weekend and both will be eager to take something into that must-win match.
Last time they met:
South 130 (A. Bird 30, S. Hall 27; L. Neal 4-20) def Central 65 (B. Franklyn 3-14, S. Hall 3-23) by 65 runs
Central are yet to register a win over South thus far this season. They lost by 27 runs in round two, by 43 runs in round 5 and by 65 runs two weeks ago at the Alma Oval.
South’s Arlen Bird (30 off 29 balls) top scored that day before the bowlers did the rest, dismissing the Magpies for just 65 with both Ben Franklyn and Sheldon Hall each claiming three wickets.
Jarred Paull was the only Central batsmen to reach double figures and extras was the top score with 13. Luke Neal did impress with the ball though, taking four wickets.
Central - LLWLW
Central were able to bounce back with a 149-run belting of West last Saturday. Paull (74) led the way while Adam Rhodes (30) and Josh Joliffe (46) also batted well. Damon Pettitt, Luke Neal and skipper Dave O’Mally each took two wickets.
South - WLWWL
South once again fell convincingly to North last round, raising questions about their ability to compete with the top team. They managed just 72 with the bat which North chased easily.
Both sides are stacked with quality players but South has shown better depth and a more well-rounded game this season. While their batting has mostly been reliant on Hall and Matt Reavill who both have more than 200 runs this season, their bowling attack has shared the load.
Laurence Hebbard and Nathan Waterhouse each have 18 wickets with Franklyn one behind on 17 and Hall on 16. South will need a better effort from the batsmen than last weekend though if they’re to remain unbeaten against Central this season.
On the other side, Central have improved since the Christmas break with Paull, Rhodes and Tristen Smith all scoring runs at different stages. If they can put it together they remain a very dangerous side.
With the semi-final looming large on the horizon, neither Central nor South will want to give anything away in this one. A win for Central would give them much needed self-belief and confidence while South will want to keep their foot on the throat as they’ve done throughout the season.
This game was set to be played at the Jubilee Oval but due to the ground being unfit for play, has been shifted to the Alma as part of another double-header. South and Central will start at 1pm and play 35 overs a side.
WHAT: South v Central A Grade
WHEN: Today, 1pm
WHERE: Alma Oval