READ MORE - LAST WEEK'S ROUND ONE WRAP
GOLDEN Square, Sandhurst, Bendigo, Kangaroo Flat and White Hills - the early heat is on you in the BDCA.
While it's only round two of the 2019-20 Bendigo District Cricket Association season starting Saturday, banking early wins are like gold and for those five teams, another loss will put them behind the eight-ball at 0-2.
0-2 is not ideal, but having said that, the lesson learned from Huntly-North Epsom last season is that it shouldn't be cause for panic either.
The Power were 0-3 last season, yet fought their way out of their early slump to firstly, reach the finals - although with not a lot of wriggle room given they only made the top four by four points - and then cash in on the opportunity they created by winning the flag.
Clearly, though, the Power are the exception rather than the rule and given the vulnerabilities of a cricket season in terms of weather impact - rain and heat - laying an early-season foundation to build on is vital.
With the cobwebs having been blown out with last week's opening one-day round in the coloured gear, the whites will come out on Saturday for the first of the two-day rounds.
Saturday's matches feature two games that both pit two round one winners against each other.
The first is Strathdale-Maristians hosting Eaglehawk at Bell Oval in what's a Saturday-Sunday encounter.
The flag favourite Suns impressed straight-up in a 58-run win over Kangaroo Flat last week, with new recruits Grant Waldron (58) and Chris Sole (2-13) both starting solidly for their adopted club.
The young Hawks may not have the envious arsenal of bowlers they have boasted in recent years, but their new-look attack that featured Nick Farley and Josh Williams taking the new pill backed up a solid batting performance in a win over Bendigo.
But bowling 85 overs against a Suns' batting order that just goes on and on will certainly pose a great test for Farley, Williams, Aaron Monro, Russell Stockdale and co.
Speaking of bowling, the other match featuring a clash of two round one winners pits Strathfieldsaye against Huntly-North Epsom.
Both sides decimated their opposition last week - the Power bowling Sandhurst out for just 72 when defending 123, while the Jets skittled Golden Square for 81.
The Jets' import pair of Chathura Damith and Savith Priyan last week combined for 4-18 off 14 overs.
They only arrived in Australia the previous day, but having had a week to acclimatise it's an enticing prospect for the Jets.
Among the other games, looking forward to the clash between White Hills and Kangaroo Flat at Scott Street.
Predicted both last week to be improved and right in the finals hunt come March, yet one will have to fight their way back from a 0-2 start.
* Round two matches (tips in bold) - Strathdale-Maristians v Eaglehawk (Sat-Sun), Sandhurst v Bendigo United, White Hills v Kangaroo Flat, Strathfieldsaye v Huntly-North Epsom, Bendigo v Golden Square.
HOW THEY MATCH UP
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