Magpies to scrape into finals
Saturday, 17th January, 2015
By By Square Leg
The Barrier District Cricket League will conduct its rescheduled 20/20 games from last weekend’s wash out with Central taking on North at the Jubilee Oval with the winning side advancing to the 20/20 Final against West.
The Central side has been weakened by the departure and absence of several school teachers for the resumption after the Christmas break and much will rest on the shoulders of Jarred Paull and Justin Heath if the Magpies are to win this game and then make their presence felt in the final.
Paull was absent from the Central side for the two games prior to Christmas and his all-round skills and leadership on the field will be a welcome addition for the Magpies. Heath hit his straps with the bat, scoring a century in the last game before the Christmas break and he is a class player when in form. The Magpies will be looking to both players to fire with the bat and Paull also to chip in with the ball today.
North are capable of toppling Central however, much will depend on the availability of Codie Howard for this game. Howard is in scintillating form with the bat and he has combined well with Tobias Hack to put on a match winning partnership on more than one occasion this season. If Howard plays and he and Hack can get good assistance from the likes of Harvey and Martin with the bat the Bulldogs could set Central a very competitive tally to chase.
O’Malley and Paull will need to make early inroads into the North batting with the new ball as the Magpies look a little “light on” in the bowling brigade for this game. Hale is likely to get a greater work load with his “offies” in the second half of the season with the departure of Matt Jardine from the city.
Harvey and McEvoy will shoulder most of the responsibility for North to keep the Central top order in check and Hack could be called upon to have a trundle if Howard does not play.
Central have reacted strongly in the face of adversity this season and one suspects the challenge of winning this game without the presence of some key personnel will lift them to greater heights.
I expect them to advance to the 20/20 final and then go on and give a good account of themselves in the major game.