By Peter Johnston

Runs have been the order of the day at the Jubilee Oval this season with the wicket offering the bowlers little assistance and the outfield being lightning quick. Batters will be licking their lips with expectation while bowlers will approach today’s West and Central game with some trepidation. Perhaps the spinners may get some assistance from the wicket but any loose balls are certain to be punished.

On exposed form in the first half of the season, West must start favourites to take the points before the competition breaks for Christmas but I have a nagging feeling that Jarred Paull is due for a big score with the bat and the Jubilee wicket may just be the place to do that. Paull will need support from the likes of Ninovic, Skinner, and Rhodes if the Magpies are to give themselves a chance of an upset. They will have to see off the bowling of Laurence Hebbard however, because he is a dangerous bowler no matter what the state of the wicket.

Paddric and Mackenzie Attard hold the hopes of the West batting line-up with solid support to come from Max Everuss and Peter Christos. The West bats however, have been known to collapse under the pressure of early wickets but this is unlikely to happen on a wicket that offers the pace very little. David O’Mally has been the only Central bowler this season that has looked to have any penetration although the return of Jarred Paull will provide another option.

I believe the outcome of this game is far from a foregone conclusion. West should take the points but should the Central bats find some better form, they are capable of taking the outcome of this game down to the wire.

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