SUFFERING a less than pleasant start to the summer, Centrals will head into their final game of the 2013 calendar year looking to keep things simple.
The red and blacks take on defending premiers Orange City at Riawena Oval today and with one win on the board through nine rounds of the 2013-14 Orange District Cricket Association season, skipper Adam Shepherd believes a victory before the Christmas break would do more than add a little festive cheer to the club.
“That’s exactly right. We want to end this part of the year on a high before the two-day cricket starts,” Shepherd said.
“It’ll be good to finish with a positive attitude.”
Centrals have been bowled out for 82 and 71 in their past two games, the first against Waratahs and the second versus Cavaliers.
Needless to say, the red and blacks didn’t take home many points from either contest.
Still, with the ODCA’s move to bring in a top four system for the end of the season finals, Centrals remain well and truly in the hunt for that fourth and final spot come semi-finals time.
Shepherd said getting there and beating City would come down to one thing.
“Just application with the bat,” he said.
“We’re not scoring enough runs. We’ve got to adapt to the conditions a bit better than we have been. The goal out there will be to bat the first 20 overs and then go out and bat the second 20 overs.”
Looking to earn a berth in the one-day final next weekend, City skipper Matt Findlay believes his side must concentrate on the little things to defeat a determined Centrals.
“We need to win big to make that final,” he fired, with CYMS and Cavaliers the other match set to determine the make-up of the ODCA’s one-day climax.
“CYMS are playing very good cricket at the moment, but you could say they’re due for a loss, so we can’t rely on them beating Cavaliers.
“At the same time, we need to just focus on getting maximum points and forget about needing to win by a lot. If we concentrate on the margin rather than the win itself, it’s asking for trouble.”
City won by eight wickets against Centrals back in round five.
Findlay smashed 65 not out chasing Centrals’ 117 but, today, expected a tougher opponent.
“Centrals have a good team this week, and are a dangerous unit anyway,” he said.
“We need to concentrate on continuing to build momentum, do the basics well and hopefully really hit our straps and get a win up. Whatever happens after that, so be it.”