Early wickets vital for Souths momentum

TAMWORTH District Cricket’s major semi final today between Old Boys and Souths is set to light up No. 1 Oval as both sides name full strength line-ups.

Old Boys will be looking for some redemption after Souths rolled them cheaply to take the one day final trophy last week in a low scoring affair.

Souths captain Nick Leyden said it was the most unbelievable win he has been involved in.

“To get them all out for 86 after they were cruising at 1-50 is incredible,” Leyden said.

The captain is hoping to roll some of that momentum and confidence into today’s clash, although is wary of the minor premiers.

“We will have to take early wickets again and bust that opening partnership,” Leyden said.

While Simon Norvill has been the most damaging bat in Tamworth this year, Leyden is more concerned with his partner this week.

“(Adam) Lole rarely fails twice in a row and we got him cheaply last week.”

Souths have named a full strength line up for the first time this season, and the timing couldn’t be better.

They will relish having two Australian Country representatives, Andrew Maher and Tom Groth back in the side this week after they missed the one day final.

Old Boys will welcome Aaron Hazlewood back.

Hazlewood has been very dangerous with both bat and ball this season and is peaking at the right time.

A fortnight ago he ripped through the Wests top order taking five wickets and bowling them out for 61.

He then opened the batting and beat their score single handedly smashing 64 runs at a under a run a ball.

Old Boys captain Ben Middlebrook has written off last week’s loss and trusts his batsmen to perform this week.

“Both bowling attacks are very good so I think it will come down to the batting this week,” Middlebrook said.

“The key will be seeing off the new ball and batting the full 90 overs out.”

“We all have to perform and not just rely on a few guys this week.”

The bowling attack of both sides is top notch, with variety the key.

Last week Souths took the pace off the ball with James Psarakis coming in and snaring some great wickets to start the collapse.

Souths boast the two Tamworth openers in Col Smyth and Angus McNeill, and have effectively five new ball bowlers at their disposal.

Jake Everett, James Hammond, and Maher give the captain an arsenal of pace, as well as some very good slow ball bowlers and part-timers.

Old Boys on the other hand have solid openers, but could have more variety in their attack.

Off spinner Will Chesterfield has impressed this season, and with Hazlewood back in the attack they look dangerous in the field.

Old Boys and Souths have looked the form teams all season making this game a cracker with the winner getting a huge leg up to the premiership.

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