PORT Panthers Pirates captain Paul Stait is counting on a good batting wicket for the second day of the team’s match against Port City Leagues Magpies, but the slow bowlers could make it tough for his team.
Stait’s men need 292 to grab first-innings points over the Magpies at Oxley Oval, on a wicket that became batsmen-friendly, for a while, on the first day’s play.
It had something in it for the bowlers early on, before flattening out nicely, then becoming spin-friendly near the end of the day.
Stait hoped it would stay the same on day two. “It would be good if it was the same,” he said.
He was sure his batsmen could get the runs required to secure the points, especially with the return of Ryan McMahon this week.
Rob McColl is also back, after a stint in second grade.
“We have a pretty good batting order,” Stait said.
But he knows the Magpies bowlers can pose a threat.
Kyle Bray and Jason Herdegen will be dangerous, as will the spinners - Josh Kew and Ashley Anderson. The tweakers did most of the damage for Pirates last week.
Thomas Carruthers impressed in his first-grade debut, taking 3-45. Ryan Johnson captured 2-68.
Stait said they became dangerous when the pitch dried out.
“It gets a bit slower when the ball isn’t new anymore,” he said.
The match has added significance, with the striking of the Grant-McMahon Shield.
The shield is named after legends of each of the two clubs, Pirate Dave McMahon and Magpie Craig Grant.
Points from matches between the two clubs in each grade go towards the shield, which will be presented to the winning president at the end of the year.
“Let’s win it for Doc [McMahon],” Stait said. “All the boys have to chip in and get runs. And if a bit of luck goes our way, and the weather doesn’t intervene, we’ll be alright.”