Down to the wire
Saturday, 22nd February, 2020
By Donald Trump
Game one sees Central take on West - a game crucial for two reasons.
If Central wins with full bonus points, they will advance straight through to the BDCL final, if West wins and South lose, then the Robins will advance to the semi-final next week.
Central was pushed last week by a resilient South side. I expect West will do the same.
West has got some fight in them, with a great demographic of players. The Attards, Everuss, Clout and Harvey can all take a game away from the opposition with the bat.
Throw in Meehan, Lewis and Carroll, and if Central don’t get it right, they could be chasing or need a total of well over 200.
Bowling-wise, West will need Ferguson and Attard to strike early, if not then I fear Rhodes, Paull and Kumar may run all over them. Stenhouse and Handberg out cripples the West attack, but cricket can be a funny game.
Central welcome back Paull, Smith and Maalste, who will be eager to get some form before finals.
Their bowling will be bolstered by the above and, along with Mateer and O’Mally, they may well prove too much for the Robins.
It’s easy to look on paper and season’s form and pencil in the Pies for this one, but I do remember a grand final where Central bowled West out for under 50, then West did the unthinkable ... they won.
Attard and Carroll will remember this one and will be driving that into the boys from the West.
It’s cricket, anything can happen.
Tip: Central, if they bat first.
Game two sees the Bulldogs take on the Roos. In a clash that’s vital for both clubs.
North will only have Howard missing and will possibly be playing for top spot. They will want to put South to the sword and secure the full eight points on offer.
Only one point separates them and Central, so the Bulldogs will have one eye on Saturday’s game, hoping for West to win, or at least steal some points off ladder leaders Central.
Even so, they will want to win big and keep the momentum going heading into finals.
In their way stands the lads from “over the Hill”, South CC.
The club has turned things around the last few seasons and will be eying off their second consecutive finals campaign after being in the wilderness for over a decade.
Last year the boys stormed the competition, beating everyone ... except North.
This season has been a lot different as they have had to claw their way into finals contention, which is still not a sure thing especially if West beat Central on Saturday.
North will rely on DTB and Hack to score the bulk of the runs, but they can genuinely bat down to seven.
Their strength, in my opinion, is their bowling attack, even without Howard, their attack of DTB, Vella, Johnson, Savage, Davey and one of Broken Hill’s best young talents, Austin Wilson, is enough to trouble any team in town.
South will need everyone to lift: Hall, Reavill and Gepp will need to go on with it this week with the bat and with the ball Gillespie and Franklyn will need to back up Waterhouse and Hebbard.
New player Rianto has made the team this week and his lively pace could trouble the North batsmen.
Tip: North, if they can keep South under 120.