NORTH SPORTSMAN’S v WEST GAMBIER
AFTER the 2019/20 Barber Shield cricket season opened with a bang, players will swap the coloured clothing for the traditional whites as the two-day format returns tomorrow.
North Sportsman’s will hope the transition from 40 overs to 80 overs can suit its squad and claim a first win of the season against West Gamier at Marist Park.
The Tigers have not enjoyed an ideal start to their title defence, with a washout and a defeat to South Gambier.
In challenging conditions, North’s batsmen struggled to fire against the Demons and will look to spend more time at the crease against the red ball.
Kayne Badman was the clear standout after he scored 48 opening the batting.
He faced more than triple the amount of deliveries than the next best Tigers’ player, as the likes of Jake Schutz, Aidan Thatcher, Mitchell Lewis and Nick McInerney all fell cheaply.
Despite the big names not at their best, the Roos’ attack is well aware of the power the Tigers hold.
West could be capable of putting up more of a fight this time around after it defended the small target of 123 against East Gambier last week.
The likes of Sam Willis, Josh Cornolo, Niall Easterbrook and Connor Prior all claimed multiple wickets and did not allow any Bulldogs’ players to settle.
Captain Richard Crute also bowled well without reward.
But the Roos’ chances will be dictated by their output with the bat.
If Crute did not attack East and change the game with his powerful knock of 63, West was unlikely to post a defendable total.
Willis was the only other Roo to reach double figures.
Tim Young is in ominous form for North after he claimed four wickets against South.
If Young fails to fire, he will be backed up by fellow wicket-takers Declan Kenny, Nick McInerney and possibly Michael Johnston.
EAST GAMBIER v MIL LEL
EAST Gambier and Mil Lel will both chase their first win in an intriguing round three Mount Gambier and District Cricket Association clash at Scott Park tomorrow.
The side’s first two-day match of the season could go either way, but Mil Lel will start on the back foot after it has failed to get on the park so far.
New full-time captain Jack Miller will be itching to lead his men out for the first time after the side’s two games were both abandoned without a ball bowled.
With no recent time in the middle, it could spell trouble against the new ball for Mil Lel’s batting order, which is desperate to improve on a poor campaign last season.
East will hope to bounce back from a disappointing loss to West Gambier in round two.
The Bulldogs had the chance to stamp their authority at multiple times during the contest, but could not land the killer blow.
With the new ball, new-captain Alex Hentschke and Ben Clark led the way with three and two wickets respectively.
The pair restricted the Roos’ top order before the spinners were attacked, but Ben Hentschke and Emerson Marks will be able to build more pressure on the batsmen in the longer format.
Chasing just 123, East’s batsmen struggled to fire and failed to convert on a number of starts.
The prolific Dion Stratford will be one to watch opening the batting and will look for support from the likes of Marks, Matthew Hastings and Darren Whitehorn.
Despite the narrow defeat, the Bulldogs will start as the favourite with match practice and the home ground advantage under its belt.
PENOLA v SOUTH GAMBIER
PENOLA will have to wait another week to begin its 2019/20 Barber Shield cricket campaign, after its round-three clash against South Gambier at McCorquindale Park has been rescheduled.
The two-day match was originally planned to begin tomorrow at the Eagles’ home ground, but the venue will be unavailable due to the Penola Show.
Instead Penola will start its contest against the ladder leader next Saturday on November 9, which was previously day two.
The second day will be played just 24 hours later on Sunday and will create a busy weekend for cricket fans.
It looms as a significant test for the Eagles after the Demons have proved to be the team to beat so far.
South eased past West Gambier in round one before it defeated reigning-premier North Sportsman’s in a tight one-day contest on Saturday.
In contrast, both of Penola’s scheduled games against East Gambier and Mil Lel were abandoned without a ball bowled.
The other two round-three games remain on schedule and begin tomorrow.