Nirranda determined to defend 202 against Allansford

RUNS on the board is the sole factor playing in Nirranda’s favour as it prepares to turn an evenly-balanced contest against Allansford into victory.

The Knights hope their bowlers can defend 202 when play resumes at Allansford’s Uebergang Oval today. The Gators were 0-13 at stumps.

Captain Jason Mungean was yesterday adamant the score was defendable, but conceded the turf-wicket oval was “smallish” and “reasonably fast” on day one.

However, rain this week has worked to the Knights’ advantage and could play a crucial role today.

Mungean highlighted consistency as the key to Nirranda enjoying a much-needed victory.

“Just to do the basics — bowl line and length and keep the pressure on them all day,” he said.

The Allansford-Nirranda match looms as one of the most intriguing at the halfway mark of round six of the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association (WDCA) division one season.

The two sides, with starkly different season expectations, have a combined three wins between them and are keen to improve their records.

Surprisingly, Allansford has a 1-4 record with one match to go before Christmas after starting the season as one of the flag favourites.

But Mungean said he was under no illusions of the talent at the Gators, who were once the dominant force in the WDCA.

“They’re all pretty consistent. They beat right down,” he said.

“They’ve won a few division one premierships in the last four or five years. They all know what it’s about.”

The Knights started the season hoping to be competitive in their return to division one.

They have achieved that at times — two victories bode well — but they have also been on the end of a couple of thrashings.

“There are a fair few who haven’t played that standard before. They’re learning as they’re going,” Mungean said. “They’re getting better each week. They realise they’ve had to step up their training and we’ve done that.

“Results will start to flow.”

Round six of the top grade season wraps up today in the final hit-out before the Christmas break.

Nestles will attempt to chase down Brierly-Christ Church’s 194 from day one at Reid Oval, while

Dennington is 0-19 in pursuit of Merrivale’s 131 at Dennington Recreation Reserve.

East Warrnambool-YCW is on the verge of a stunning victory against Woodford at Koroit’s Jack Keane Oval.

The Broncos are 1-23 after bowling the top-of-the-table Eels out for 104.

Port Fairy needs 267 for victory against West Warrnambool at Avery’s Paddock after teenage Panther Ben Threlfall wrote himself into the record books with a sublime 112.

Paul Walker rediscovered his touch with 118 as Russells Creek made 9-250 againstWesley-CBC last week.

afawkes@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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