He won’t admit to feeling the pressure that comes from his side’s remarkable run of success in Mitchell Cricket Council’s President’s Cup recently, but Bathurst skipper Adam Ryan certainly has no desire for it to end under his captaincy.
The Barracudas have won the last eight President’s Cup titles and only dropped two games on their way to those wins, both to Orange, by 14 runs in November 2013 and then by one wicket in January of last year.
But after suffering defeat at the hands of the Blue Mountains in this summer’s cup-opener, a 112-run loss, Bathurst’s tilt at a ninth straight title would take a potentially killer blow if they lose to Lithgow on Sunday.
They lost to Dubbo and tied with Parkes in their two Western Zone Premier League clashes so far this summer too, so a defeat would keep the side winless through 2018-19 – not a situation they’re used to being in.
“There’s been some good cricket played ... and unfortunately we’ve been on the other end of it the last couple of games, so we definitely need to rectify that. We need to go out all guns blazing and have a really red-hot crack,” Ryan said.
“It’s definitely a must-win for us. Obviously not having a result thus far puts the pressure on you, but I think just naturally other teams lift to play us because they want to beat us.
“I don’t want to go three games in a row and have a duck egg with no wins as a skip either, so I’ll probably be hungrier than everyone else.”
While Ryan is yet to open his account as captain, having stepped up in the absence of the injured Jameel Qureshi, he knows he has the talent at his disposal to get the job done.
There are five changes to the side which lost to Blue Mountains as Nic Broes, Tanvir Singh, Ben Parsons and Andrew Brown return, while veteran seamer Dave Henderson has been added to the squad too.
If Henderson gets a start he will add spice with the ball, having taken 10 wickets at an average of 10 in first grade for City Colts.
It’s not in the field where Ryan thinks his side needs to improve though.
“The first game we didn’t value our wickets enough, then the last game we valued it a bit too much and didn’t [keep the scoreboard ticking over enough] in different parts of the match. So hopefully we can get that balance right this weekend,” he said.
“You have got so many options, so it’s just putting the right jigsaw together on the day I guess.”
The Lithgow side does have its potential match winners – Central West Wranglers representative and skipper Ben Sheehan for instance. However, Ryan wants his players to focus on themselves.
“We just have to worry about playing our game – bowling well, batting consistently and tick the score over, we don’t want to get ourselves bogged down, but we have to make sure we don’t play rash shots,” he said.
Sunday’s match at Scots starts at 10am.
- BATHURST: Adam Ryan (c), Nic Broes, Andrew Brown, Sam Macpherson, Imran Qureshi, Mark Day, Tanvir Singh, Connor Slattery, Aditya Adey, Ben Parsons, Dave Henderson, Matt Fearnley.