Magpie depth put to test
Saturday, 16th January, 2016
By Square Leg
Local cricket resumes today after the Christmas break and much interest will surround the ability of top-placed Central and second-placed West to cover the loss of several key players for the second half of the season.
Central meet North at the Jubilee Oval and would normally start warm favourites to take the points in this contest however, with the loss of Scott Shepherd and Brett Hannon from their bowling ranks for the remainder of the season and the likely unavailability of a couple of their other school teachers for this game, the Magpies are somewhat of an unknown quantity.
One thing that is certain, the Central batting will be as potent as ever with Cameron Wells, Justin Heath, Jarred Paull, Paul Gauci and John Carrett certain to provide plenty of fireworks and capable of setting a large score for North to chase.
Wells in particular, has been in sparkling form this season and his ability to score runs at a fast rate at the start of an innings certainly takes the pressure off the batsmen that have to follow.
North’s best chance of causing an upset in this contest is to win the toss, bat first and hope that Tobias Hack and Coldie Howard can kick off the new year in stellar fashion.
Hack was a little inconsistent with his batting prior to Christmas however Howard was in superb touch with the willow in the few games that he did play and on current form possibly must be ranked as the best bat in town.
Technically he is without peer in the city.
If Hack and Howard can both get going with the bat and receive good support from Vella and Harvey the Bulldogs may be able to apply some scoreboard pressure on the Magpies, particularly given the fact that their bowling attack has now lost some of its “teeth”.
Runs on the board are always useful, however, the North bowlers will need to bowl good line and length on a docile wicket if they are to reign in the Central batting potency.
Central’s batting depth looks far greater than that of their opponent and for this reason they must be favoured to resume the season with a win. A big partnership between Tobias Hack and Codie Howard would be the only thing that can cause the Magpies to stumble at the post.