Battle for Semi Final berth
Saturday, 23rd January, 2016
By Square Leg
While the clash between Central and West at the Jubilee undoubtedly takes the billing as the match of the round, the game between North and South at the Alma Oval is expected to be equally as competitive with both sides still fighting for the second berth in the Semi Final.
South recorded their first win in the longer version of the game for two years when they last met North and they will be keen to prove that this was not a fluke.
The Roos’ batting has been considerably bolstered from last weekend with the return of Pavlich and Hall and the inclusion of Mani Singh who compiled an impressive 90 in B Grade last weekend.
The South bowling has been weakened by the unavailability of Tyson Boland and much of their success in this contest will depend on the likes of Page, Kumar, Hall and Pavlich’s ability to bowl well and lend Hebbard and Chestnut good support.
North’s batting revolves heavily around Tobias Hack and Cody Howard. Howard is the premium batsman in town at the moment and the Roos will be looking for an early departure from the crease for him.
Hack is a match winning player on his day, but his performances have been inconsistent by his lofty standards this season.
The North bowling is steady without being over-penetrating. The Bulldogs will be hoping that there is a little bit of swing around again today so Kieren McEvoy can work his magic from last weekend.
Chase Johnson and Jordan Vella will need to bowl well to ensure that the South batsmen are restricted to a score under 150 runs.
Cody Howard holds the key to this match. If he makes 80 runs-plus then the Bulldogs should be capable of compiling a score of over 150 which would prove hard for the South batsmen.
Any score under 150, however, is within the reach of an improved South batting line-up.
On overall form for the season one must select North but this game is well within the grasp of South and it is certain to provide a most entertaining contest.