HUNTLY-North Epsom is facing a do-or-die run-chase of 111 runs, with five wickets in hand, when it resumes its Bendigo District Cricket Association game against Strathdale-Maristians today.
The Power are precariously placed at 5-43 chasing the Suns’ 153 at Huntly’s Poyser Motors Oval.
With one round remaining after today, the Power are three points outside the top four and gunning for the positions of either Golden Square or Eaglehawk.
But with both Square and the Hawks holding the upper hand in their games, the pressure is on the Power to beat the Suns and keep themselves in the finals mix.
Captain Linc McRae (25 n.o.) and Brannon Stanford (1 n.o.) will resume the chase for the Power, who lost five wickets during their 25 overs before stumps last week.
While wickets tumbled around him, opener McRae survived the Suns’ onslaught and needs to continue his good form of his previous two games when he has made scores of 145 and 82 not out.
The Power also still has Sam Johnston – who is coming off 104 runs at Melbourne Country Week – to bat, as well as Chris Guinane.
“It’s do-or-die for us tomorrow, we’re certainly aware of that,” McRae said yesterday.
“But the game is in our hands.
“Strathdale is a great bowling side with a lot of options, but if we knuckle down and have a dip then I reckon we can get the 110 runs we need.”
While the Power need to win to keep their season alive, a victory for the undefeated Suns would be another example of their ability to win from any situation, having last week been 6-31 and later 8-67.
● Bendigo United’s batting line-up has a challenging run-chase three weeks out from the finals against Eaglehawk at Harry Trott Oval.
The Redbacks have been set a target of 275 by the Hawks, who recovered from 3-17 last week on the back of teenager Cameron McGlashan’s 91.
Matt Pinniger and Heath Behrens will be the two prized wickets for the Hawks, with both having made centuries in the past two games, while no other Bendigo United player has made more than 80 runs in the club’s past four matches.
Eaglehawk strike bowler Richard Tibbett is coming off a Melbourne Country Week campaign in which he was the BDCA’s leading wicket-taker on six.
● Golden Square is well on the way to maintaining its position in the top four against Sandhurst at MyJet Oval.
After bowling the Dragons out for 117 last week, openers Harley Dunlop (18 n.o.) and Scott Johnston (9 n.o.) survived 12 overs before stumps and will resume today at 0-31.
Needing 87 runs with 10 wickets in hand, and Sandhurst missing its best bowler in Quinton Bentley, you would expect Square to have few hassles in ending its two-game losing streak and extending its record to 11-2 against the Dragons since 2000.
● Kangaroo Flat will defend a score of 6-220 against White Hills at Dower Park.
The Demons are going to need to produce a far better batting performance than last time against the Roos if they are to win their second game of the season.
When they met last month, the Demons were decimated for just 56 by Kangaroo Flat.
The Demons are having problems with batsmen capitalising on starts, having had just four scores above 30 in their past four games.
● Bendigo will resume at 1-16 in reply to Strathfieldsaye’s 267 at Atkins Street in North Bendigo.
The Goers have shown steady improvement with the bat as the season has gone on and if they can survive their 85 overs should go close to winning their third game of the season. The batsman out is captain Marcus McKern (4).