Bective East’s bid to replicate their Twenty20 ladder charge, over the remaining three regular-season rounds, would be given major impetus with an outright win over West Tamworth on Saturday.
And that was what the Bulls would attempt, their paceman Gerard Labuschagne said, although not in a foolhardy manner.
At the start of play at Riverside 2 on Saturday, the Bulls will commence their second innings – after they dismissed Wests for 119 late on day one, to secure a three-run first-innings win.
“With both teams [Bective and Wests] being bottom of the ladder, an outright win would mean a lot to both our sides,” Labuschagne said.
“It’s actually shaping up to be quite an interesting game this Saturday, because a bonus point will obviously help us. But we don’t want to throw everything out.
“If we chase too hard, and they bowl us out early, and they chase us down, then all the hard work we did trying to close out last week will be a waste.
“So we’ll have to approach it fairly carefully."
Labuschagne expects the Bulls’ young skipper, Jye Paterson, to instruct his top-order batsmen to go “pretty hard”.
If that plan worked well, he said, they would go for the outright win by trying to bowl Wests out again.
“But if we lose a few wickets early, then we’ll probably consolidate and try and bat [for] time,” he added.
Old Boys will also be hunting for an outright win against North Tamworth at Riverside 1, after making 334 on day one.
The Redbacks will commence their first innings at the start of play on Saturday.
Old Boys, the competition leaders, are chasing a sixth straight win after five consecutive T20 victories.
Their veteran allrounder, Aaron Hazlewood, said: “We haven’t played too much two-day cricket. So it was really pleasing to get back into two-day cricket and bat nearly the whole day out and put a good total on the board. [That is] probably where we’ve struggled in the past … so that was really promising to see.”
Hazlewood said none of the players spoke about the desire to win back the premiership, after South Tamworth snapped their long reign, in last season’s grand final.
“Everyone has been around there long enough to know what we’re striving for … so the eye’s on the prize, obviously.
“But we know what we need to do – we’ve done it that many times now. We obviously want to win it straight back – that title.”
At No.1 Oval, City United will resume at 6-27 chasing 152 for the win.