Royal Hotel Cup replay forces team changes

ORANGE City and Molong both face unavoidable changes in tonight’s Royal Hotel Cup cricket semi-final at Wade Park.

Tonight’s penultimate match is a replay after being washed out last Friday night, and both team’s captains are set to make changes to their line-ups as a result.

However, neither one is sure of when the changes will be confirmed, if at all.

Molong skipper Trent Frazer said the day change was not a problem for his troops, instead the rain was playing havoc with his player’s availability.

“Changing to the Wednesday isn’t an issue for us,” he said.

“With so much rain a few of the guys might be out on tractors though, and need to miss the game. We shouldn’t have too many changes though, hopefully.”

Frazer said Luke Wood was likely to miss the do-or-die clash, with Lee Cornish to take his place.

“None of it is certain yet,” Frazer said, outlining two or three other unnamed players could potentially be unavailable as well.

Available wicketkeepers have been few and far between for Orange City in the Twenty20 format this year.

Lincoln Duncan began the season, playing two games before moving to Newcastle. He is unavailable for midweek games as a result.

John Warrington plugged the hole before Troy O’Keeffe took over in the Warriors’ most recent clash with Blayney. O’Keeffe is now nursing a suspected broken finger.

“He may or may not be available,” City skipper Matt Findlay said.

“He took a pretty nasty blow to the finger last weekend. It’s up to him whether he plays or not.”

Both captains said the changes to their respective line-ups wouldn’t change any game plans.

“We need to put pressure on the Molong side,” Findlay said.

“If we get on top early with both bat and ball we can control the tempo, and maintain the pressure. As always, maximising dot balls when we bowl, and minimising them when we bat is crucial.”

Frazer was more simplistic.

“We’ll look to restrict the City batsmen, and post a good target or chase well,” he said.

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