A FORTNIGHT ago, Bathurst looked set to head into the final of the President's Cup as short-priced favourites.
Not any more.
Mudgee has been bolstered by the inclusions of in-form under 21s heroes Cameron Cox and Ryan Kurtz following the duo’s mammoth triple-century stand against Orange’s colts outfit last weekend in Mudgee.
Cox made a major statement with his sensational knock of 192 and, alongside Kurtz (106), smashed 12 fours and 10 sixes in his innings at Victoria Park.
He only made the walk back to the pavilion when he was caught chasing his double-century in the last over.
With the Mudgee under 21s earning a week off, courtesy of that effort, prior to the grand final next weekend, Cox will line up on Sunday for the opens team, and Bathurst is wary.
“Obviously as that sort of innings shows, anything can happen on a cricket field on a given day,” Bathurst captain Daniel Casey said.
“When a bloke is in that sort of form often there isn’t much you can do about it as a bowling side.
“Hopefully though it is going to be a bit of a step up for (Cox) to come into opens cricket this week.”
Casey is likely to run with a similar team to the one selected to play in the scheduled final two weeks ago, bar the absence of Jeremy Judge.
He will line up with the Bathurst under 21s in their preliminary final against Orange, opening the door for all-rounder Adam Ryan to make his return from a hand injury.
Mudgee captain Jacob Edmonds was hopeful his side would break its President’s Cup drought.
“Sunday will be a tough encounter, they always are (against Bathurst). But we are desperate to beat them,” Edmonds said.
“It would be great if he (Cox) can get another big score. Hopefully some of the other boys score runs too.”
The President’s Cup final will be played at Bathurst’s Sportsground from 10am on Sunday.
MUDGEE: Jacob Edmonds (c), Cameron Cox, Michael Ford, Andrew Best, Troy Kenny, Wade Barrow, Stuart Fredericks, Harry Ottley, Hayden Cox, James Ford, Sam Joyce, Nick Chapman.
BATHURST: Daniel Casey (c), Imran Qureshi, Adam Ryan, Matt Fearnley, Joey Coughlan, Ben Orme, Matt Willis, Brendan Inwood, Josh Toole, Henry Shoemark, Jameel Qureshi, Shabbir Dhamani.