Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cut-throat semi-final for Deniliquin Rhinos

The Rhinos take on Strathmerton this weekend for a place in the two-day grand final.

March 14, 2014 4:50am

After five months, many victories and just a few shock losses, the Deniliquin Rhinos are tasked with a cut-throat semi-final showdown against Strathmerton this weekend.

The two-day match, which is being played at Strathmerton, starts at 11am tomorrow and Sunday.

The winning team will go on to play the grand final at Cobram Showgrounds the following weekend.

Despite Strathmerton being the only remaining team on the Rhinos’ ‘to beat’ list, skipper Brad Todd is confident the locals can win their way into the Murray Valley Cricket Association’s Premier Cup grand final.

‘‘We’re not really worried about that, we haven’t played them in a two-day game yet,’’ Todd said.

‘‘Hopefully the wicket is a bit better than it was last time and we should go alright.’’

Strathmerton is a star-studded side and its hero, Luke Carter, won his fifth Guthrie Medal at the association’s presentation night on Wednesday.

The Victorian Country representative has tallied an incredible 837 runs at an average of 83.7 and 23 wickets at 14 this season.

But Todd says his side is focused on doing its own thing.

‘‘I think the key to winning comes down to our batting,’’ he said.

‘‘If we can make anywhere from 200-220 I’m confident our bowlers can defend that.’’

One thing that may work against the Rhinos is their inexperience at playing 100-over days, which the MVCA finals are.

‘‘It could be an experience thing. Strathmerton have obviously played in finals before and won the competition last year,’’ Todd said.

‘‘We pretty much batted 80 overs on Saturday (against Katamatite) so that gave us a bit of an idea, but 20 extra overs per day could throw a spanner in the works.’’

The Rhinos trained last night and while pace bowler Matt Robinson is unavailable, Todd said ‘‘a few changes’’ could be on the cards.

Selection: Deniliquin.

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