Frenchville fights uphill
Two games, but very different outcomes from the first day of matches which continue at Rockhampton Cricket Grounds today.
For the first time this season, Frenchville is facing an uphill battle for victory.
Overs will not be an issue with the Southern Star Sports Shield champions having used just nine by the close of play last week.
However, losing two cheap wickets is a setback as the Falcons resume the chase to score another 276 runs for the first innings points.
With Brendan Handley and Joe McGahan dismissed cheaply, it puts pressure on Frenchville’s star-studded line-up to get into action and strike up some useful partnerships.
Much will depend on the two not-out batsmen Brent Rothery and Trent Kenny.
Rothery has been the pick of the Frenchville team for much of the season, scoring well at the top of the order and mopping up an opposition innings when handed the ball.
It would be a timely contribution if he were to hit another big score for his side.
Kenny is one of the craftsmen in the line-up and always shows good technique, but his side will want him to put his talent to the cause and help build sizeable partnerships.
With no change in the weather over the week, the Rockhampton Cricket Ground strip is unlikely to hold too many demons for batsmen who are patient and willing to put away the bad ball when it arrives.
Frenchville captain Todd Wells is not daunted by the total set by Tigers.
“It’s a batting paradise,” he confirmed.
“We thought 350 runs would be a good score on that small field.
Wells felt his side should have been looking at a far smaller target, but uncharacteristically let the opposition off the hook with some average work in the field.
“They had one bloke (Adam Matthews) who made a score,” he said.
“We dropped him five times.
“He batted well, but we set him up for a big score.”
Wells sees Frenchville’s key to victory is batting out the full 80 overs.
Although Tigers scored over 300 last week, that total could well have been a lot higher had they completed their overs instead of losing their final wicket with 12 overs still in hand.
Ominously for Tigers, the batting line-up of the Frenchville team is full of runs.
Queensland Country batsman Todd Wells will be followed by star youngster Michael Simmers, fresh from playing State under-19 cricket, and then Jason Wells and all-rounder Bock Siegert.
“It will be a good test for us to chase so many runs,” Wells concluded.
Even though all the captains admit the Rockhampton Cricket Ground strips are full of runs the opening day of the Gracemere and Brothers Southside game seemed to suggest differently.
During the day 271 runs were scored, but for the loss of 19 wickets.
That means the teams go into the second day of play today with the match on a knife edge.
Gracemere’s total of 148 appeared to be about half the amount needed to be competitive. However, at its turn at bat Brothers also struggled to finish the day with just one wicket standing and 26 runs required to take first innings points.
The question now is whether Brothers can get those runs and whether either team is capable of forcing an outright victory.
Brothers captain Richie Pershouse believes if the two teams play like they did last week then another 20 wickets falling is a possibility.
However, the first target is to knock off the 26 runs for first innings points and Pershouse certainly believes his two players at the crease are capable of that.
“I’ve confidence in our batting right down to eleven,” he claimed.
“We have our best batsman from our last game (Brendan Davy) still there.”