WITH the Bendigo District Cricket Association finals starting tomorrow, LUKE WEST takes a look at the players who take in the best form over the previous four rounds.
Matt Pinniger (250) and Heath Behrens (245) have led the batting department over the past four rounds for the Redbacks.
Both have scored centuries during those four games, with Pinniger’s past four scores being 89, 11, 127 and 23, while Behrens has been more consistent with knocks of 49, 52, 29 and 115 n.o.
But apart from left-handers Pinniger and Behrens, no other Redbacks’ player has made more than 90 runs.
With the ball, Marcus Smalley has taken 11 wickets in his past four games, with the next best performers being Miggy Podosky – who is coming off a five-wicket haul last week – and wily off-spinner Nick Crawford, who have taken seven each.
Andrew Smith has the best bowling figures of any finals player over the past four rounds on 13 wickets, including six last week against Bendigo.
Smith has also made 134 runs.
The Hawks’ leading run-scorer over the past four games has been Cameron McGlashan’s 145, which included 91 when Eaglehawk beat Bendigo United in round 13.
McGlashan has backed up those 145 runs with nine wickets, while speedster Richard Tibbett also has nine scalps in his past four games.
The major form concern for the Hawks going into this weekend is Anthony West. West has made 471 runs for the season, but just 21 in his past four games.
With 230 runs, captain Grant Connelly has been Square’s leading batsman over the past four rounds.
Connelly’s past three knocks have included three scores above 70, but he was dismissed cheaply for six against Strathdale-Maristians – this weekend’s opponent – last round.
Coach Scott Johnson recovered from his rare lean patch of form to score 58 and 78 in his past two innings heading into the finals.
With eight wickets, spinner Johnson also ranks as Square’s best bowler the past four games, closely followed by James Pietromonaco and Luke Baird with seven each.
Square will be hoping Darren Clutton can have more luck this weekend, with the paceman having taken just four wickets in his past six games, but he has bowled much better than that return suggests.
Opener Travis King (250) and captain Linton Jacobs (195) have carried the Suns’ batting over the past four games.
Take those two out and no other Suns’ player has made more than 92 runs since round 10.
Ben DeAraugo (12) and spin twins Cameron Taylor (8) and Craig Howard (8) have combined for 28 of the Suns’ past 47 wickets.
Strathdale-Maristians v Golden Sqare at Bell Oval.
Bendigo United v Eaglehawk
at Harry Trott Oval.