By Peter Johnston
West continue to defy the critics and win games, albeit by close margins, and their winning streak looks set to continue against Central at the Jubilee Oval today.
Good sides win the close games and West are a good side as they continue to do it with three or four of their better players absent each week. This has been a great testament to their depth.
MacKenzie Attard’s return to form with the bat in recent weeks has only further strengthened West’s position as premiership favourites and they should carry too many guns for a Central side that has shown glimpses of good form throughout the season but these have been too few and far between. The return of key strike bowler Laurence Hebbard today will only strengthen West’s chances.
Central would love to see Jarred Paull find some form with the bat. Paull is the sole Central batsmen capable of taking this game by the scruff of the neck and winning it off his own blade. Good support from Elvery, Rhodes and Smith will go a long way to also assisting the Magpie’s cause.
Central’s bowling attack has lacked penetration this season with the departure of Michael Maalste. David O’Mally and Scott Mateer have bowled honestly but they appear to lack the support of another strike bowler. Today they may find it tough against the likes of Attard, Everuss, Handberg, Rosewarne and Harvey and Co.
West’s bowling attack, on the other hand, is stacked with options. Hebbard is the best opening bowler in town while Matt Handberg bowls his leggies with great control and is always a wicket taking option. These players receive great support from the Ferguson brothers and Peter Christos.