KANGAROO Flat will be aiming to learn from the mistakes of last season against Sandhurst when it takes on the Dragons in round two of the Bendigo District Cricket Association starting Saturday.
The Roos were left in a spin last season by Dragons’ left-arm tweaker Sam Sperling, who tore through the Kangaroo Flat line-up, taking 7-40 in Sandhurst’s 62-run win in round five.
The Roos and Dragons meet at Kangaroo Flat in what’s the only clash featuring two round one winners.
Kangaroo Flat started its season with a comfortable six-wicket win over Strathdale-Maristians, while Sandhurst upstaged reigning premier Eaglehawk by four wickets.
Roos’ captain Brent Hamblin says his players have focused heavily this week on preparing for the barrage of spin that will come their way from the Dragons in Sperling, captain Craig Howard and recruits Sam De Silva and Todd Murphy.
“We obviously remember what happened last time against Sandhurst. He (Sperling) bowled some good deliveries, but he also got our blokes playing some dumb cricket shots,” Hamblin said on Friday.
“We’ve focused during the week big time on batting to spin and how we think they may set up fielding-wise.
“We know Beardy (Taylor Beard) will bowl 20-odd overs for them, but the other 60 are generally going to come from spin, so we’ve done a lot of work through the week with our top six batsmen on footwork and making the right decisions.”
• Strathdale-Maristians goes into its away game against Golden Square in the unfamiliar position of bottom of the ladder.
The Suns were given a hiding by the Roos last week when outplayed with both bat and ball and now come up against what’s shaping as one of this season’s big improvers in Golden Square.
However, the Suns won’t have to contend with the competition’s No.1 batsman in Square recruit Ben Gunn, with Liam Smith to captain the side in his absence, while there’s no gun all-rounder Scott Trollope or paceman Darren Cluton for the home side either.
• Huntly-North Epsom and defending premier Eaglehawk will be both chasing their first wins of the season when they meet at Huntly.
The Hawks will be captained by returning star Jeremy Brown in the absence of Cory Jacobs, who was superb in last week’s loss against Sandhurst in making 79 and taking 3-25.
For the Power, it’s an opportune time to take on Eaglehawk given the Hawks’ much-vaunted bowling line-up features none of the wily Jacobs, Richard Tibbett or Shaun Knott.
• Bendigo United hosts Bendigo at Harry Trott Oval.
The Redbacks – who have made finals the past 15 years – opened their season with a loss to last summer’s wooden-spooner Strathfieldsaye, while the Goers should see this as a genuine opportunity against an opponent that has caused them plenty of grief over the years to make a 2-0 start.
Although, the Goers will want to share the load much better this time and not again leave it up to key recruit Kyle Humphrys, who scored an unbeaten 115 in their tally of 6-146 against Huntly-North Epsom last week to rescue them with the bat.
• After winning just two games last season, Strathfieldsaye has the chance to equal that tally in its first two matches of 2017-18.
The Jets began their season with a win over Bendigo United last week and now take on White Hills.
The Demons will be striving for a much better performance with the bat on their home turf after they were bundled out for just 101 by Golden Square last week.
Saturday’s games get under way at 1pm.