Even contest in A Grade preliminary final
Saturday, 28th February, 2015
By Square Leg
Cricket finals are upon us and there is a sense of deja vu surrounding the A Grade Preliminary Final between West and North to be played at the Jubilee Oval today.
The same sides met in last season’s Preliminary Final with North emerging somewhat surprise winners before then going on to be soundly beaten by Central in the Final.
West’s form has not been as good as last season while the form of North has probably improved from last season so a North win today would not be as big a surprise.
On a good batting deck at the Jubilee, this game has the potential to produce a mountain of runs with an aggregate of 400 runs plus not beyond the realms of possibility.
West will rely heavily on Tim Clarke to make a major contribution to its score while they will need players like Henry, Handberg, Everuss and Christos to lend good support.
North’s bowling has been steady without being brilliant, with some bowlers having problems with their line of late.
They can ill afford to give away too many free runs today.
Chase Johnson returns to the side to add some fire on a wicket with good grass and bounce while the medium pacers of Codie Howard will give the Bulldogs greater depth.
Mateer and Vella have extracted good spin from the Jubilee wicket in recent games and they could play a major role in this game.
The North batting line up appears to have a little more depth to it than that of West.
Harvey made a promising half century against South last week and he and the emerging Vella will be important players for North in this game as they will need to provide Howard and Hack good support with the willow.
Both Hack and Howard are class players on their day and are likely to rise fore the big occasion. Matt Garrick’s return to the side also gives the Bulldogs a scoring option down the list.
West’s bowling has been steady this season and their line has been perhaps a little better than their counterparts.
Wilson and Christos will be key players with the newer ball while Handberg and Everuss with need to provide the variety with some spin.
Handberg has a fine record at the Jubilee but has probably not enjoyed as good a season as past years.
Tim Clarke carries a big burden on his shoulders in this game.
If he scores 80 runs plus, I believe West go into next week’s final however, North look to have a few more batting options to me than their counterparts and they could again lift to make it consecutive Preliminary Final wins.