Lights the least of Norths’ worries
A weakened North Kalgoorlie side are hoping they can maintain their hold at the top of the ladder when they play their first game under lights today.
Norths will be squaring up against bottom-of-the-ladder Lake View in the Eastern Goldfields Cricket Association’s A-grade competition with only half of the team made up of first-selection players.
Star batsman Bevan Bennell and all-rounder Jay Collard are away after playing in the WA Country team for the national championships, and a teammate’s wedding has further affected player availability. Norths’ captain-coach Trent Mais said it was probably the weakest side the team had fielded this season, but he was optimistic they would still be competitive.
“We are struggling for numbers,” he said.
“We will just have to strap a team together, but I still think we’ll be pretty competitive.”
Lake View have won only a single game this season, but they will have some momentum from their last game when they lost by just one wicket to Hannans in a nailbiting clash before the festive break.
Lake View skipper Josh Harper said his side would be short of a few players as well, but he was hoping to give new recruit Prashanthon Nagaraja his first run for the club after he moved from Great Boulder. Nagaraja had four outings for the Two Blues in the A-grade this season, recording best figures of 5-36 against Norths at the end of November.
Harper said winning the toss would be a distinct advantage.
“It is a bit different under the lights,” he said.
“The team that bats under lights, they’ve got to do it much harder.
“You will always want to get off to a good start and I think the white ball does a bit more in the air at night-time.”
Mais said he was looking forward to playing at the Ray Finlayson Sporting Complex, but had not given the day-night format a lot of thought.
In the other fixture, secondplaced Hannans will face thirdplaced Great Boulder at Wallace Park. Hannans are just one win adrift of Norths and the Two Blues trail the ladder-leaders by 18 points.
Quentin Graham hits to the off side.