SUBTLE tweaks at training will help Allansford-Panmure compete for a Sungold Cup place as it plots a path to the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association's Twenty20 final.
The Gators are one of four clubs - North Warrnambool Eels, Brierly-Christ Church and Port Fairy the others - who will contest the newly-standalone division's semi-finals on January 8.
The two grand finalists will advance to play in the $15,000-to-the-winner Sungold Cup, which is held at Allansford's Uebergang Oval, on Australia Day.
Gators skipper Chris Bant said his side would consider slight changes to training in the lead-up to the semi-final.
"You do change training a little bit. You encourage your bowlers to bowl a lot of change-ups as they would in general match conditions, I suppose," he said.
You do change training a little bit. You encourage your bowlers to bowl a lot of change-ups as they would in general match conditions, I suppose- Chris Bant
"It's the same as any format you go to play. (For Twenty20) you encourage your batsmen to not be leaving any balls and you want to score off everything if you can.
"You just want to be finding a way to get at least a single if not a boundary. It's not a massive difference bit it's about preparing for what's coming."
Bant said it was important to have a proactive mindset without going overboard.
"Some people can watch too much TV I think and try to copy some of the shots they're playing on there, which isn't going to work very often," he said.
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The top-order batsman, who will be in Melbourne Country Week calculations, said the evenness of the competition was especially on show in the 20-over format of the game.
While Allansford-Panmure has been one of the competition's best short-form sides, it has struggled in the 45-over version.
The Gators have just one win to their name - which came against Brierly-Christ Church on December 11 - but have been competitive almost every week.
"I think with the Twenty20 stuff, it's one of those games where it's genuinely 50-50," he said.
"It doesn't matter who's playing or where they are on the ladder. Especially this year when the comp is so even. There's not really any team which is the standout and not really anyone who is an easybeat.
"That's just the way it is and obviously the one-day results haven't gone our way until the most recent one but it's been pretty close."
He lauded the Gators' bowling as its biggest strength in Twenty20 cricket.
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"I think it's been a really big upside for us. We've been able to bowl one side of the wicket and set fields to block off the boundaries," Bant said.
"I think that's been important as we've been able to keep a side to about 100 or 120 and you'd think you should back yourself in to get that many."
The WDCA's Twenty20 finals will be held at Port Fairy's Avery's Paddock. They were originally scheduled for the newly-revamped Reid Oval but shifted due to an unfinished pavilion and work to be done around the oval. The opening match will now be on January 15.
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