Now is the time for Tigers to stake claim

If Newtown is tochase down a target in excess of 300, it will be on Saturday.
Nanjing Night Net

UP FOR THE TEST: Newtown’s Steve Skinner, pictured bowling last week, is keen to score some runs on Saturday. Photo: PAIGE WILLIAMS

That’s the feelings of experienced Tigers all-rounder Steve Skinner as his side prepares to resume its clash with Rugby at No. 2 Oval.

Rugby, led by a century from James O’Brien, posted an impressive 9/300 last week.

Skinner admitted it is an imposing total to chase down but said his side’s current confidence and depth can see it get the job done.

“If we can’t run it down tomorrow then there’s not much point worrying about semis,” he said, with his currently sitting equal fourth.

“Anytime you have to chase 300 its a big ask but if we bat the 75 overs we should be able to get it done.”

One thing which may play in Newtown’s favour is the heat.

Temperatures are expected to be around the 45 degree mark on Saturday, something that doesn’t bode well for Rugby’s seam-heavy attack.

“They’ve got a lot of seamers so if we bat a long time it will be tough on them and they’ve got a lot of young fellas too. I’m not how much experience they’ve got of bowling a lot of spells in the mid-40s,” Skinner said.

“The first hour will be very important. If we can get through that without losing a wicket or only being one down it will make a huge difference because after that they’ll be doing it tough.

“But if we lose a few then they’ll have their tails up and will want to keep bowling.”

O’Brien’s knock was key for Rugby last week, while in other RSL-Whitney Cup action Ricky Medway posted 160 in Macquarie’s huge total of 339 against CYMS.

Skinner said knocks like that is obviously what is needed when posting a big score and added his side is well-placed to do that.

Skinner pointed to Wayne Dunlop as the kind of batsman who could spend a huge amount of time at the crease while he added there is plenty of depth in the side in the form of himself, Dan Holland, Mat Skinner, Charlie Kempston andMick Kempston.

“We’ve got a few back (in the side) and guys like Dan and Mat have found form and ‘Kemo’ (Michael Kempston) has been hitting the ball really well without getting the big score and ‘Dunners’ (Dunlop) is the same.

“He’s been hitting the ball without going on and getting the big score of 150, like he can do.

“If someone does go on with it that’s when you run it down, when someone bats most of the 75 overs.”

Rugby has plenty of options with the ball, with the likes of Jacob Hill, Dan Horrocks, James O’Brien and young up-and-comerWill Grant expected to get through many overs while spinners Aidan Bennewith and Chris Russo provide the variation.

The match at No. 2 Oval resumes at 1pm on Saturday.

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