Get set for ripper final
Saturday, 5th March, 2016
By Square Leg
The cream has risen to the top with the best two sides in local cricket this season finding their way into the final.
Play gets underway at midday at the Jubilee Oval, and what a final this looks likely to be!
Central will go into this game as warm favourites to secure their fourth consecutive premiership, however West will give themselves every chance of upsetting the favourites as they have had some very close encounters throughout the season and recorded one win over the Magpies prior to Christmas.
If anything, West looks to have timed its run to the final to perfection and they appear to have peaked at the right end of the season.
The West batting has been more consistent in the last few weeks with Cricketer of the Year award winner, Paul Attard, leading from the front and being well supported by the likes of Handberg and Jelbert.
Max Everuss found touch with a quick fire 30 last weekend and he and Tim Clarke will stiffen up the Robin’s batting line-up today.
Clarke is a class player and is expected to play a major part in the outcome of the game today as he looks a big occasion player, and can rotate the strike well which is important when trying to upset the Magpie bowlers line and length.
The West bowling has excelled since the Christmas break with Wilson being the pick of their bowlers.
Central will find him hard to get away today and Christos, King, Jelbert, Everuss and Handberg should lend very good support.
If these bowlers bowl at their best they have the capability to restrict a very potent Central batting line-up to a score of around 120 to 140, runs which would set this game up for a fantastic climax.
The Central batting has been its strength all season.
Wells and Menz have been able to get the Magpies off to a flier on most occasions and Heath, Paull and Gauci have been able to capitalise on the excellent start.
Adam Rhodes is a likely addition to the Central batting line up today and he will add further firepower to an already strong line-up.
It will be interesting to see how the Central middle order will perform if West can get a couple of early breakthroughs, as they have had to contend with little pressure throughout the season.
David O’Malley has been the key bowler for the Magpies this season and he has received good support for the likes of Neale, Jarred Paull and spinner Hale.
Justin Heath has a very good record in finals cricket and donít be surprised if he is called upon to do some trundling, despite not having bowled much throughout the season.
Central seem likely to celebrate their fourth premiership on end tonight and the celebrations should be made that much sweeter because they will have to fight tooth and nail to secure the victory.
I expect West to push the Magpies to the limit and the result of this final may well hang in the balance until the final last few overs.
Cricket lovers should make their way to the Jubilee to witness what promises to be a great final game of cricket.
Spectators will be well catered for with a bar and BBQ operating from the start of play to the end of the game.