WITH just four runs required for Central Gippsland cricket first innings points against Mirboo North, the only thing standing in the way of a Latrobe victory is weather, which appears an unlikely factor.
The Sharks will aim to bat for as long as possible, with Matt Brewer and Adam Duncan at the crease both hoping to cash in with big scores.
Brewer in particular has had a poor start to the season and a good innings against the title favourites could be just what he needs to kick start a purple patch.
Youngsters Benn Zomer and Hayden Kimpton appear likely to be given an opportunity to bat time and will be eager to take their chance with both hands.
Mirboo North’s aim will be to bowl Latrobe out as quickly as possible and attempt to salvage some bonus points.
For that to happen the Tigers need Liam Smit, Josh Taylor, Steve Rogers and Connor Williams all to lift in the absence of injured skipper Robert Phoenix.
Adam Mates struck his first half-century on Australian soil in the first innings, and the Tigers are hoping this will be the beginning of a rich vein of form for their import.
AFTER letting Morwell off the hook last week, Trafalgar cannot afford to slip up again in its pursuit of 235 to win.
The Ships will be entitled to bat for 87 overs but if the destructive James Blaser spends even half that amount of time at the crease, their chances of victory will be dramatically higher.
In Aiden George, Blaser has the perfect foil at the top of the order and with Rhys Holdsworth to follow the task is daunting for Morwell’s bowlers.
The bonus for the bowling attack of Tim Dowe, Davin Charleston, Brendan Brincat, Mark Cukier and Brent Reside will be that if they can get each of the aforementioned bats for less than 50 runs a pop, the quality of Trafalgar’s remaining bats drops off significantly.
Brendan Dawson and John Assmussen are next in line and while both are capable supporting acts, neither are match winners, while Brodie Burgess, Liam White and Blair Clymo all have the talent but are still young and lack experience.
If the Ships can find a way to bat around their star men they will be confident of getting the total but cannot afford to lose early wickets.
WITH the game delicately poised, Jeeralang-Boolarra may not get a better opportunity to seal a two-day win than Saturday.
Over the halfway mark in the chase and with seven wickets left in the bank the game is leaning in favour of the Panthers, however Ben Heath will need to shoulder most of the responsibility as the middle and lower order appears to lack discipline with the bat.
Peter Gilpin and Craig Blackberry have had poor starts to the season, while Dermott Leys has struggled to replicate his feats last season when he smashed more than 700 runs in second grade.
Dillon Leys and Ben Duffy can both hang around but the main objective for Yallourn North’s bowling attack of Rowan Kelly, Lucas Fry, Glenn Sheekey and Jeremy Butler will be the early dismissal of Heath.
If the Bombers can get rid of the danger man early they will feel a lot more comfortable in their defence.