THE tight line and length bowling of Tim Bryce will be a valuable weapon for Merrivale as it sets course for victory in its two-day game against East Warrnambool-YCW today.
The Tigers will carry the favourites tag on the final day of the game at Jones Oval, having racked up an impressive 9/243 last Saturday.
Bryce is part of a formidable Merrivale bowling attack that has not conceded more than 200 in any of its games this season.
Having crossed from Yambuk where he coached last season, Bryce has claimed seven wickets with his steady medium pacers at the impressive economy rate of 1.9 runs per over.
He made the move from Yambuk to test himself at the top level in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association after a successful career with both the Buks and Panmure.
While his opportunities with the bat have been limited with just two innings, Bryce has been a find with the ball with his experience and cool head under pressure helping to tie up an end for the Tigers, as well as grab vital wickets.
“A couple of my cousins, Luke and Daniel Pearson, play at Merrivale and I was keen to give it a go in town before I got too old,” was how the 29-year-old Bryce yesterday described his decision to join the Tigers this season.
“I played colts at Allansford and then division four and division two there as a young lad but never division one so it is good to be having a go now at that level.
“The turf wickets suit my bowling. There is a bit of variable bounce and sideways movement so if you bowl a good line and length you are a chance.”
Bryce said Merrivale’s bowling attack aimed to operate in partnerships to tie down opposition batting line-ups and draw out mistakes.
He has had the opportunity to open the bowling for the Tigers and his steady medium pace has worked well in tandem with the blistering pace of Zashan Arshad, who is the equal leading wicket-taker in the competition with 12.
In other division one games today, Port Fairy is in the box seat to record its second win of the season when it takes to Avery’s Paddock to complete its two-day game against Wesley-CBC.
The Pirates will resume batting at 8/150, a score that comes in reply to Wesley-CBC’s first innings of just 81.
The domination of the ball on day one leaves the door open for an outright result, with the Pirates looking for quick runs early on day two to take the game in that direction.
Woodford is well placed in its game against Allansford, with the Eels aiming to chase down a small target of 133 when play resumes at Jack Keane Oval in Koroit.
Brierly-Christ Church will be confident of defending a score of 238 when it bowls to Russells Creek, while Dennington also has a big score, 278, to defend in its game against Nirranda.
The game between Nestles and West Warrnambool could go either way, with the Factory defending a score of 152 against a strong Panthers batting line-up.