THEY’VE been riding it since the start of the Orange District Cricket Association Twenty20 season, now Blayney is hoping the unknown factor propelling them into tonight’s Royal Hotel Cup semi-final will take them all the way.
Blayney swept all before it to finish undefeated on top of Pool A following three preliminary round matches.
Batsman Brock Gannon said the side has enjoyed the day-night cricket so far this season, the fact Blayney and its players have remained relatively anonymous throughout the duration of the competition was a bonus the team has thrived on.
But all that’s about to change.
Tonight, the Bathurst District Cricket Association outfit will face off against CYMS in a semi-final showdown set to light up Wade Park.
If the ODCA sides left in the 2012-13 Royal Hotel Cup weren’t wary of Blayney yet, they should be.
“We’ve sort of had a look (at maybe winning) after being successful in the first few games, we thought we might be able to have a crack at this,” Gannon said.
“None of us really know a lot about Orange cricket. It’s been a bit of an unknown really.
“And I suppose no one really knows a lot about us. It has worked in our favour. We don’t go in thinking such-and-such is a big name, we just see it as 11 blokes. It’s been an advantage in one way.”
Labelled “technically correct” by skipper Jameel Qureshi, Gannon will enter the fray at first drop for his side tonight.
Gannon said with the likes of Nick Bird (161 runs at 53.6) and Jayden Fuller (10 wickets at 5.8) firing for Blayney in the pool games, his side will take some stopping tonight.
“So far we’ve been going pretty well. We’ve bowled two teams out in three games, which is a pretty fair effort in Twenty20,” he said.
“What’s worked for us is catching. We’ve been taking a lot of catches. Also, we’ve been taking early wickets. When we take early wickets and take consistent wickets it makes chasing a 130 score feel like chasing 180.”
Qureshi said tonight’s semi-final was a big game for the club.
Blayney hasn’t played a lot of cricket since defeating Cavaliers in its final pool game of the 2012-13 Royal Hotel Cup on January 18.
The following weekend Blayney was comprehensively beaten by Rugby in the BDCA, enjoyed the bye the next round and then, along side their ODCA counterparts, had last weekend’s cricket washed out.
He said while Bird and Fuller have so far starred to lead both runs and wicket-taking categories respectively, Gannon has proved a vital cog in the Blayney juggernaut.
“He bats at three for us. He’s a patient batsman and technically correct. He’s a good all-round cricketer, when he gets going with the ball he is quite quick too,” Qureshi said.
Tonight’s game begins at 6.30pm at Wade Park.