Desperation stakes for some in race to division one finals
CRICKET: Judgment day arrives tomorrow for Gympie and Glasshouse as the Rangers resume at 0/10 with 275 the target needed. With the last round looming, a loss for either could erase finals hopes.
Gympie has no choice but full-on attack, with a draw unhelpful as no points will be forthcoming from the last round bye. With Tewantin-Noosa all but assured of at least first innings value against Caloundra, even a win for the Gold will leave the future uncertain.
Last Saturday the visitors declared at 7/274 on a track made for batting and a lightning outfield, conditions that the Rangers will hope repeat for their stint in the middle. The home side batting all day without adding enough to win looks unlikely, so there should be a victor.
A bonus for Glasshouse is the return of Brett Milini, out on day one with a minor ankle sprain. He will walk to the crease bearing the experience of 223 games and 6979 runs, just itching to join the elite group of five in the 7000 run club.
One of his traits is patience and niggling persistence, as demonstrated by six of his thirteen centuries being unbeaten. With the aid of a top order that knows this is the time to find that grit as well, what is perhaps a final season could be extended into April.
Tewantin has a deficit of just 20 against Caloundra, and six wickets in hand. The Thunder dismissed the Lighthouses for 176 in under two sessions last week, giving Jarrod Officer the option of batting out the first session to reduce any chase if ten more Caloundra wickets fall. An outright here would increase the odds of a valuable home final.
Caboolture is untroubled by the calculations of the other sides, but would undoubtedly like a win as a reward for the 111 overs of toil last week, plus the further time in the field that Gerard Flegler will seek on Maroochydore's restart at 5/235.
A draw would not be a disaster for the Swans and it's unlikely that the Snakes would go out in hot pursuit of more than 300 in two sessions, so if the home side can bat until lunch, the pitch and outfield would favour that result. For Shane Newton, a chance to bowl for his 500th wicket can't come soon enough, yet there is also room for a three figure score from any of the remaining batsmen on either side.
LADDER: Caboolture 106, Gympie 86, Glasshouse 82, Maroochydore 80, Tewantin-Noosa 76, Nambour 32, Caloundra 24.