CRICKET: Caboolture and Gympie will be searching for outright wins to kick off the season when the first round of SCCA Division 1 two day matches conclude on Saturday.
The first session of play was the key to success against Caloundra and Nambour as the visitors won the toss and asked the home sides to bat, with Caboolture dismissing the Lighthouses for 99 and the Gold doing even better to dispatch Nambour for 64.
Now the task is to close down the second innings, and at 2/1, the Snakes have huge pressure already on the Caloundra batsmen, who both have to occupy the crease and put runs on the board to avoid giving maximum points to last year's premiers.
Mitch Elmes and Al Kristensen hold the key with the experience to bring the rest of the order with them, but history would see the Snakes closing the game early.
Gold skipper Lewis Waugh has the decision ahead on how many runs lead he wants or needs at the Showgrounds, as Gympie is currently 111 runs in advance and just 6 wickets down. Ideally he doesn't want to bat again, but also realizes the Cutters are unlikely to fall so easily again. The home side has shown the ability to score heavily in the T20 rounds, now the line-up has to grind it out to show its grit.
The closest match is at Read Park, where Maroochydore is to restart at 0/8 in the chase of Tewantin-Noosa's 208. The Swans need a good start from James Chaplin and Josh Peters, two players who can spend time in the middle, and set up the scene for Dylan Betts to prosper.
What the Swans don't need is to expose the inexperienced middle order to Codey Rzeszkowski with confidence under his belt, as this is the situation he thrives on. The Thunder attack is a little lighter without Ash Poole this season, and could struggle against determined resistance, so the leg spinner will have added importance.
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