LATROBE will need to knuckle down and bat for the full 85 overs to chase down Morwell’s mammoth 7/278.
The Sharks will be hoping that youngster Matt Brewer has found his touch again after a promising knock last round, while experienced veteran and club first grade games record holder Justin Vajler plays his first game since last season’s grand final loss.
Vajler, Anthony Bloomfield and Steven Freshwater remain the side’s best two-day batsmen and if any can bat most of the day with a few partnerships victory is possible.
Consistent scorer Daniel Siddle’s absence will hurt the visitors.
The spin trio of Riyaz Pathan, Jackson Beani and Mark Cukier could be a key factor as the Tigers look to take the pace off the ball to negate a fast outfield.
Yallourn North v Moe
YALLOURN North will need to bat brilliantly to knock off Moe’s 231 and starting from opening pair Josh Keyhoe and Aidan Vesty.
The Bombers’ problems begin first wicket down, with Callum Polo struggling at three with just 46 runs at 9.2 with only one score above eight, exposing the middle order of Patrick Spiteri, Evan Sheekey and Tyler Brown.
The positive for the Bombers is the inexperience of Moe’s attack, with Nick Clarke, Robert Blunt, Kane O’Connell, Ryan Sim and Trent Baldi sharing less than 50 first grade wickets between them.
Mirboo North v Jeeralang-Boolarra
ALREADY one wicket down and needing a further 253 runs to win, Jeeralang-Boolarra needs to knuckle down and bat for the entire day.
Serious pressure is on the shoulders of brothers Luke and Ben Heath as the Panthers’ only quality top-order bats, and if capable second-string acts like Stan Urbanic, Tim Laaks, Craig Blackberry and Ben Duffy are able to bat with them the visitors are a chance of going three from three.
The big-hitting of the injured Dermott Leys could also be a deciding factor.
With Rob Phoenix reluctant to bowl due to injury, Dale Banks assumes greater responsibility and will bowl in tandem with Connor Williams.