Injury means captain out of Tigers match

CRICKET: The rugby union season is over, but that will not mean Norths Tigers captain Craig Wilkes will be back wearing the whites this weekend.

Wilkes, who plays his rugby for the University club, was forced from the park during last week's grand final loss to Colts.

He has since found out he has a fractured ankle and will not be available for Norths until the end of October, at the earliest.

That is not the only worry for stand-in captain Eddie Doherty as he tries to guide his team to its first win of the 2009/10 season.

“It's the most inexperienced Norths Tigers team I've played A-grade cricket with,” admitted Doherty.

Not only is Wilkes on the absent list, but also fellow opener Jon Harris and his two opening bowlers Andrew Keiler and Greg Sorensen.

In the opening game last week Norths were soundly beaten by Frenchville, but Doherty does not believe that was a true reflection of the match as he felt his team played without luck.

This week the Tigers face Brothers, another team in search of its first win of the new season and Doherty is contemplating springing a few surprises.

“With the weather hot and dry there should be some turn in the wicket,” Doherty said.

The captain said he will have a look at the strip and then decide whether to open with one of his spinners.

Leg spinner Justin Peacock will be keen to redeem himself after conceding 24 runs from the one over he bowled against Todd Wells last week.

“He bowled the worst over he'll ever bowl,” Doherty said.

“Justin did bounce back at training this week.”

After watching Brothers batting last week, Doherty said their top order likes hitting the ball hard and therefore it would be sensible for his bowlers to take some pace off it.

Doherty said that he had some other options open to him.

The new ball could be placed in the hands of left-arm medium pacer Joe Wright, who made his A-grade debut last week, or even Doherty may decide to open from the other end.

Two more players making a debut. One will be opening batsman Ray Stanley, who has decided to play his cricket in town after captaining a premiership Biloela team last year and also playing representative cricket.

Bolstering the middle order is another debutant, Munesh Gupta.

“He's been hitting the ball very sweetly at training,” Doherty said.

Facing the Norths Tigers bowling should be no mystery for Shane Caird who joined Brothers from Tigers at the end of last season.

Against Gracemere, Caird hit a half-century and was the side's top scorer on debut. However, his day was soured as Brothers could not defend its total of 186 and lost the one-dayer.

It's first time out for Capricorn Coast as it had the bye last week.

While the other team's got some of the rustiness out their play in the season opener, the Coast will be hoping to come out of the blocks running.

Last year the Yeppoon team finished the season on the bottom of the ladder and are sure to find the going hard against an improved Gracemere

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