BENDIGO UNITED v STRATHDALE-MARISTIANS - Harry Trott Oval
Last time: Strathdale-Maristians 8-230 d Bendigo United 7-229.
Since 2000: Strathdale-Maristians 13; Bendigo United 7.
Bendigo United - after consecutive defeats to White Hills and Bendigo, bounced back in emphatic style last round with a victory over Strathfieldsaye that moved the Redbacks back into the top four.
But their opponents this game, the Suns, have posed plenty of problems in recent years for the Redbacks, who haven't beaten Strathdale-Maristians since their epic one-run victory in the 2010 grand final.
If that doesn't change on Saturday, they are likely to be back outside the top four going into the last two rounds where they play White Hills and Bendigo.
The Redbacks now boast both the BDCA's leading run-scorer, Matt Pinniger (474), and joint leading wicket-taker, Nick Crawford (24).
• Runs - M. Pinniger (474), B. Gunn (346), H. Behrens (270). Wickets - N. Crawford (24), M. Podosky (21), L. McDermott (19).
Strathdale - the Suns are coming off a brutal 171-run win over Eaglehawk that pushed them up to second on the ladder, but they are still yet to lock away a finals berth.
The Suns' batting has been heavily dominated by Adrian Pappin (369 runs), Cameron Taylor (350), Travis King (344), Ben DeAraugo (324) and Linton Jacobs (295).
They are all averaging in the 40s and have combined for 1682 - or 73 per cent - of the Suns' 2280 runs.
• Runs - A. Pappin (369), C. Taylor (350), T. King (344). Wickets - C. Taylor (21), J. DeAraugo (20), B. DeAraugo (16).
BENDIGO v STRATHFIELDSAYE - Bendigo District RSL Oval
Last time: Strathfieldsaye 4-158 d Bendigo 155.
Since 2000: Strathfieldsaye 6; Bendigo 5.
Bendigo - may sit seventh on the ladder, but goes into this weekend one of the form teams of the competition.
In their past two games they have knocked off a pair of top-four teams in Bendigo United and White Hills, chasing down targets nine wickets down in both games.
Woud be bitterly disappointed if they drop off now against Strathfieldsaye.
• Runs - M. Ryan (317), M. Blackman (259), B. Andrews (198). Wickets - B. Andrews (14), M. Ryan (12), N. Fitzpatrick (8).
Strathfieldsaye - the season now looks to be taking its toll on the young Jets.
Having been 3-3 after six rounds, the Jets have lost their past four games.
In those four losses in a row, the Jets have taken just 17 wickets, while they haven’t had a batsman post a half-century, so they desperately need to refind the spark they played with early in the season.
• Runs - B. Devanny (330), C. Devanny (263), H. Schumacher (212). Wickets - B. Devanny (20), J. Hargreaves (19), C. Devanny (9).
EAGLEHAWK v SANDHURST - Canterbury Park
Last time: Eaglehawk 4-169 d Sandhurst 7-168.
Since 2000: Eaglehawk 14; Sandhurst 3.
Eaglehawk - the pressure is back on the Hawks after they were belted by Strathdale-Maristians last round and lost their top-four spot.
They do have a favourable draw on the run home, but they still need to find consistency in their batting.
The Hawks - having started the season 4-0 - are 2-4 over their past six games, during which they have been bowled out five times, with only one of those totals more than 200.
• Runs - A. West (311), J. Abbott (226), A. Smith (179). Wickets - A. Smith (20), C. Jacobs (19), A. Monro (14).
Sandhurst - battled hard against ladder-leader Golden Square last round and shouldn’t be discounted in this clash at Canterbury against their more-fancied opponents.
Young opening batsman Sebastian Greene should have derived plenty of confidence out of his 47 against Golden Square, while the Bowe brothers, Liam (19) and Eli (18), have now combined for 37 wickets.
• Runs - C. Howard (350), S. Robinson (208), A. McGauchie (201). Wickets - L. Bowe (19), E. Bowe (18), C. Howard (13).
GOLDEN SQUARE v KANGAROO FLAT - MyJet Oval
Last time: Golden Square 4-192 d Kangaroo Flat 175.
Since 2000: Golden Square 10; Kangaroo Flat 7.
Golden Square - should continue on its winning ways when it hosts bottom side Kangaroo Flat.
With their 10-0 record, the top-of-the-ladder Square is continuing to get plenty of contributions and has strong depth.
That depth was shown with the bat last game when Luke Baird and Jamie Bysouth put on what proved to be a match-winning 58-run partnership for the last wicket against Sandhurst.
• Runs - S. Johnson (341), G. Connelly (293), T. Wood (278). Wickets - L. Baird (24), G. Connelly (13), S. Johnson (12).
Kangaroo Flat - when you’re stuck on the bottom of the ladder like Kangaroo Flat, no game is ever easy.
But this one poses all sorts of problems .
Not only is Kangaroo Flat coming up against the top-of-the-ladder Golden Square, but Square has long been a major bogey side for the Roos.
With Kangaroo Flat not beating Square since 2006, six of the Roos’ players on Saturday have never played in a first XI victory over Golden Square.
• Runs - L. Shelton (278), A. Burns (264), J. Newlan (229). Wickets - A. Burns (17), C. Barber (14), B. Hamblin (10).
HUNTLY-NORTH EPSOM v WHITE HILLS - Poyser Motors Oval
Last time: White Hills 6-203 d Huntly-North Epsom 137.
Since 2000: White Hills 11; Huntly-North 4.
Huntly-North Epsom - there's still a faint finals pulse beating for the Power, but plenty has to go right if they’re to bridge their one-game gap to the four.
The Power are playing good cricket - they’ve won four of their past five games - but have they left their run too late? Probably.
Sam Johnston has been in fine form. He’s polled 19 of a possible 25 Addy votes his past five games.
• Runs - L. McRae (271), S. Johnston (247), J. Collinson (226). Wickets - Q. Bentley (21), S. Johnston (19), D. Gibson (11).
White Hills - one of the biggest points of intrigue over these last three games is can White Hills hang on to their position in the top four?
While most BDCA followers have been waiting all season for the surprise packet Demons to stumble, they’ve continued to defy the critics.
But after last round’s loss to Bendigo, the Demons are now just one game inside the top four.
Can’t afford to drop this one or the wolves will be circling.
• Runs - B. Stepien (327), G. Davies (291), S. Stagg (230). Wickets - J. Foley (19), R. Irwin (18), T. Colley (16).