Central and South both looking for the win
Saturday, 19th November, 2016
By Tyler Hannigan
Central and South suffered disappointing losses last week and will be keen to turn that around when they clash today at the Alma Oval.
Both teams were bundled out for very low totals last weekend- Central for 65 and South for just 44- in poor batting displays. Paul Gauci top scored for the Magpies against North with 21 runs, Jarred Paull’s 18 was next best and no other batsmen scored more than six.
They were sitting pretty after bowling North out for 80 with Scott Mateer’s off-spin doing most of the damage as he claimed 3-4 off 2.2 overs. Young leg-spinner Luke Hall, Luke Neal and Jon Carrett all took 2 wickets each. David O’Mally was at his economical best taking 1-8 off five overs.
Unfortunately some great wicket-to-wicket bowling (eight batsmen being bowled or out LBW) had them all out for 65 to lose by 15 runs.
South’s skipper was the only batsmen to get a start in the Roos dismal effort against a well-drilled West bowling unit. He scored 19 as South were blown away for 44 in just 15.2 overs last Sunday.
Such a low total was always going to be near impossible to defend and despite a solid effort from South pace spearhead Laurence Hebbard who took the only West wicket to fall, the Robins passed South’s score with 9 wickets in hand.
South have a host of unavailability’s for this clash, giving some B Grade players and juniors a chance to shine at the top level and push for a regular spot.
They’ll be hurt by Hebberd’s absence and will need inclusions Anoop Joy and Andrew Suckling to carry the bowling load. The addition of wicket keeper Jon Bishop will allow Hall to give up the gloves and bowl.
Hall has been in fine form with the bat this year but has failed to really push on and has scores of 22, 39 and 19 as well as 44 in B Grade and he’ll want to cash in today.
With leading run-scorer Ian Grant missing, the likes of Anthony Pisano, Ricky Kumar and RV Kumar will need to step up and support their captain if they are to post a solid total.
Central’s batting has failed to really fire so far this season but they have named a strong team with the inclusions of Justin Heath, Adam Rhodes and Matt Muscat. The additions of Heath and Rhodes strengthen both their batting and bowling whilst Muscat offers plenty in the field.
Leigh Sultana, Luke Neal, Kane Dwyer and Lachy Jenkin drop out from last week’s team.
Central have only named 10 players at this stage so expect a late change or two.
The Magpies batting line up rarely fail twice in a row so expect them to fight back after last week’s poor performance. Keeper Gauci again top scored with a counterattacking knock last week and he could be very dangerous if the top order can give him a decent platform to launch from.
South are without too many quality names and I just can’t see them taking the points against a quality Central outfit that is sure to be hurting after last week. This is not to say they can’t compete but each player will need to contribute for them to have a chance.