Cricketers keen to get back on the park

WILL it be third time lucky for Horsham Cricket Association players this week?

Heat forced the past two weekends of cricket to be abandoned and just three rounds remain in the home-and-away season.

Teams including Horsham Saints, Blackheath-Dimboola and Noradjuha-Toolondo will be particularly keen to get back on the park for Saturday's and Sunday’s matches, as they push for one of two remaining finals berths.

Fourth-placed Blackheath-Dimboola will have an opportunity to move one step closer to securing finals action when it hosts bottom side Colts at Dimboola oval.

But to do so the Bulls will have to win their first two-day game for the season, against a Colts team full of confidence after securing their first two-day win in four years against Jung Tigers last weekend.

Bulls batsman Travis Hair said his side would not be taking its opposition lightly.

“I think a lot of guys underestimate Colts, and we can’t afford to do that,” he said.

“We have to win, it’s a game we’ll go into with eyes wide open.”

“Drew Carmody is coming off a good week with the ball and Brad Millar’s capable of making big runs.”

Hair said the team would need to find support for Lachie Watts and Matt McKinnon if it was to be successful at the business end of the year.

“We probably have a few guys, including myself, who need to make a few more runs,” he said.

“Lachie has been our yardstick and Matt’s been pretty consistent as well.

“It’s probably up to guys like myself and Hamish Exell to get us off to a positive start.”

Hair said bowler Ash Avery and middle-order batsman Josh Beddison were possible inclusions to strengthen the Bulls line-up, with opening bowler Ollie Young still carrying a niggling injury.

At Coughlin Park, Horsham Saints will host Homers, and a win for the undefeated league-leading Pigeons should all but secure the minor premiership.

It could be a battle of the quicks, and both Pigeons’ South African import Siphe Mzaidume and Saints all-rounder Thilan Kariyawasam will be looking to take assert their influence on the contest.

The Pigeons will be without leading batsman Sandy Hodge, who is representing Victoria at the Imparja Cup in Alice Springs.

Laharum and Noradjuha-Toolondo will be hoping to take advantage of a batsman-friendly wicket at Sunnyside, with the latter needing a win to push its finals case.

The Bullants batsmen have been in form – namely Jordan Huff, Josh Colbert and Rowan Scott – and will need to win at least two of their last three matches, with games to follow against Homers and Colts.

The Mountain Men will not be playing finals this season, but will be hoping to record a few wins to finish their season on a high note.

At Horsham City Oval, a win for second-placed Rup-Minyip against Jung Tigers will almost make certain of a home final.

The Blue Panthers scored 198 against Homers in their last match, arguably without half of their first choice side, and will be building heading towards another finals campaign.

With the Tigers needing three wins to play finals and other results to go their way, this is a must-win match, as are their final two games against the Bulls and Pigeons.

Games start at 1pm on Saturday and 11am on Sunday.

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