Wimmera-Mallee vying for country week cricket title in Bendigo

THE Wimmera Mallee Cricket Association's representative team will be looking to take out division two of the Bendigo Country Week Cricket tournament, which starts on Monday.

Wimmera-Mallee begins its 50-over campaign against Portland and District at Canterbury Park in Eaglemont, and captain Jake Leith is confident his side is up to the challenge.

"We think we can be very competitive and hopefully restrict them to as few runs as possible," Leith said.

"We've got a strong, competitive side for this week.

"We'll just take it one game at a time and hopefully come out on top."

He said it was a big boost to the team to have three key bowlers available for the opening day St Mary's Tim Bell, Charlton's Andrew Wright and Bruce Hando from St Arnaud.

With a number of people having work commitments, the Wimmera-Mallee skipper said it was fantastic to get such a strong side on the park.

"It's great that some people have made themselves available for a couple of days, and nine or 10 are actually playing the whole week," Leith said.

He said his side boasted a number of strong batsmen, with experienced pair Peter Lehmann and Mark McPherson joining the side from Tuesday onwards.

"Andrew Bayles from Donald is one, he's been in great form," he said.

Leith also tipped Wycheproof-Narraport duo Nick Coles and Tom Trewin would play important roles with the bat, the latter having led the association's under-17 representative team in Warrnambool a fortnight ago.

"Tom will probably bat high in the order, so it will be a good experience for him," Leith said.

Wednesday's match is against Emu Valley at Tannery Lane in Strathsfieldsaye, before playing on Thursday against Goulburn Murray Colts at Huntly.

The top two teams in the six-team division will play off in a grand final at Weerona Oval on Friday.

Wimmera-Mallee team: Jake Leith, captain, Tim Bell, vice-captain, Andrew Bayles, Bill Sexton, Brad Leith, Nick Coles, Tom Trewin, Lachie Patching, Bruce Hando, Andrew Wright, Mark McPherson. Peter Lehmann, Riley Doran. Emergency: Chris McPherson.

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