Numurkah is in the box seat to book a spot in the Haisman Shield finals in its do-or-die clash with Kyabram.DAMEN FRANCIS February 28, 2014 4:52am
Kyabram quick Tom Roberts will be crucial in stopping Numurkah snatching his side's finals spot on the final day of the home-and-away season.
The first eight overs at Numurkah Showgrounds tomorrow could make or break Kyabram’s and Numurkah’s Haisman Shield seasons.
The Redbacks are defending 160 and their place in the top six from the Blues, who are already 0-34 and brimming with confidence.
Numurkah captain Mark Brown and coach Tyson Woods are at the crease and if they can avoid losing early wickets, it will be a big ask for Kyabram to contain them.
‘‘After the first eight overs the ball goes soft and it’s hard to do much with it,’’ Woods said.
‘‘Browny and I are concentrating on batting the first half hour.
‘‘Ky will be up and about, because their season is on the line, so that will be the key time.
‘‘We had a good day last weekend and it’s ours to lose.’’
The Redbacks are not completely without hope.
In Robbie O’Donnell, Tom Roberts and Jack Donnell, they boast three excellent fast bowlers, while Haisman Shield debutant Nicholas Chambers has been taking plenty of wickets in B-grade.
Alec Young led from the front with the bat last week, with a stoic 61, and will rally his troops for one last stand in what has been an excellent season.
Numurkah is also short on batting practice and will be keen to get some time in the middle ahead of a potential semi-final.
‘‘We’ve only batted a few times this year and that can affect your rhythm. You can only keep hitting the ball in the nets so many times,’’ Woods said.
‘‘Liam Gledhill and Jahlan Lau have been up and down and they both made ducks last game, so they’ll be keen to spend some time at the crease.’’
The favourable batting conditions at the showgrounds mean the Blues will be in no great hurry.
‘‘On that pitch, if you don’t do anything rash, the runs tend to come naturally,’’ Woods said.
‘‘The wicket is good and last week it was almost too good, in that there was very little in it for the bowlers.
‘‘We’re keeping it pretty low-key, but we’re confident with the batting line-up we’ve got we won’t have too much trouble.’’
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