Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Cooma ready for challenge from Rochester Tigers

Cooma will tackle Rochester Tigers today in the first day of the two-day match.

GEORDIE COWAN November 3, 2012 4:29am

Cooma batsman Nick Holman

Rochester Tigers might have the two highest run-scorers in Goulburn Murray Cricket in Tim Maxfield and Adam Ward, but the team has not capitalised on its form with one win in the first three rounds.

Amending that — as well as getting an increased output from some of the team’s other senior players — will be high on the Tigers’ agenda as they travel to take on Cooma in the first two-day fixture this season.

Although the Tigers are a tough proposition for the home side, Cooma will take a lot of confidence from its win last week against Echuca South after a lacklustre performance against Rochester United in the opening round.

Michael Hill guided his team to victory with an unbeaten innings of 50 and the middle-order batsman will look to continue his form in to this round.

Mitch and Liam Barrett have been solid opening bowlers for the side, without too much success, but Hamish Roberts proved to be the trump card last week with a good spell after drinks.

For the Tigers, Ward and Maxfield have held the competition enthralled with their exploits, but it is time someone else had an impact.

Grant Wachter has taken five wickets, along with Ward, while accomplished all-rounder Brad Major is yet to perform to his best.

Tigers captain Wachter said he told his team after last week he wanted a more even performance.

‘‘I probably put it on our batsmen a little after last week,’’ he said.

‘‘From (number) four down, for them to contribute a bit more and not just leave it up to Tim (Maxfield) and Adam (Ward) and Brad (Major).

‘‘We’ll look for a bit of consistency, which we have lacked in the one-dayers so far.

‘‘We’ll look to build that up in the coming weeks.’’

In a blow for Cooma, captain Brayden Stone is expected to miss the next six weeks after breaking his right wrist during last week’s win against South.

Combined with fellow opener Nick Hubble also out of the line-up, the home side will have an extremely young team entering the fray.

First-year Cooma player Hill will take over the captaincy and Stone said he had full confidence in the stand-in captain.

‘‘Unfortunately we’re not full-strength and it’s going to put a few players under the pump,’’ he said.

‘‘Michael is a natural leader and he has probably been thrown to the wolves a bit.

‘‘But I told the boys to just take it one ball at a time.

‘‘We have a very, very young team this week.

‘‘But if we execute what we do at training, we will put ourselves in a good position to win the game.’’

Stone said the team took a lot of confidence out of last week’s match.

‘‘I think any time you have a win everyone feels a bit better,’’ he said.

‘‘It takes the pressure off.

‘‘But we’re under no illusions that we’re up against a stronger side this week.

‘‘Unless we step up and execute even better, it’s going to be a battle.’’

The only little shining light of his enforced lay-off would be the chance to get see some of the association’s other top players, Stone said.

‘‘It is a good opportunity, as the representative cricket director, to get to as many games as I can,’’ he said.

‘‘I’ll take the chance to get to a few grounds and speak to a few players about the Bendigo and Melbourne country weeks.’’

Stone said young off-spinner Aaron Hayes would take one of the vacant spots in the side.

For the Tigers, Mitch Crawford will miss due to work reasons, while Jock McMillan will come in.

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