Another Sale-Maffra cricket round could be ruined by rain

RAIN is predicted across Wellington Shire on Saturday, which could cost a few teams the advantages they hold in Sale-Maffra cricket.

Longford will be gunning to get out onto the park against Maffra, and will rate its chances of a win after notching 277 on day one.

The Lizards made their highest team score in two years last weekend, led by strong innings from Macauley Lawrenson, who remained not out on 85, and fellow Englishman Richard Bell, who scored 70.

With runs on the board, the challenge will now be for the Longford bowlers to produce enough quality to dismiss the Maffra batting card. The Lizards will look to one of their more senior bowlers in Kerrod Macgregor-Davies to lead the way with the ball.

Longford will feel it deserves a win after a few promising weeks, and will hope it all comes together on Saturday.

The Eagles have enough batting depth in their line-up to take the game to the last session if they lose a few wickets early, so the chase could well be a final hour thriller.

Maffra captain Josh Davis will have his eyes set on staying out in the middle with the likes of Lee Hopkins and Jack Egan to chew away at the required total.

COLLEGIANS will enter day two needing to score a further 101 runs without losing five wickets to claim first innings points against Boisdale-Briagolong.

The College bowlers did a good job last weekend to bowl the Saints out for 139, but undid most of that good work with an implosion of a batting performance in the 20 overs before stumps, to see it sink to 5-38.

The Saints have momentum heading into tomorrow, but know they still have to see the back of Collegians batsman Stuart Anderson, Jack Tatterson and Matt Nicholls to heighten their chances of winning.

Boisdale-Briagolong is at least two wickets away from really pushing for victory, although the added pressure of not having many runs to play with means the first hour will be critical.

If College can get through the opening session unscathed, the Saints may enter stages of self doubt, and see the game disappear from there.

Boisdale-Briagolong's opening bowler Todd Mann will want to ensure this does not happen, and will come in firing from the favoured end.

STRATFORD will look to extend its current position against Bundalaguah, with the Redbacks 1-50 chasing the Bulls' first innings score of 145.

Bundalaguah got off to a good start last weekend, before Stratford skipper Jack Rietschel turned the game on its head with an eight-wicket haul.

Stratford will want to have first innings points wrapped up with minimal damage, and if things look to be meandering out, may want to give Chris Aurisch some batting practice out in the middle, or send some youngsters like Tom Wrigglesworth or Ethan Albrecht up the order.

Bundalaguah may look to activate its own spinners to try and replicate Reitchel's heroics last week.

The Bulls have the wrist spin of Jake Wynd at their disposal, and will also have South African Cloete Buitendag, playing his first day for the season.

If Bundalaguah is to win, it will more than likely need to take a half-chance catch or get a direct hit run out early in the day to change the flow of things.

If it can disrupt the natural order, funny things might just happen.

SALE posted a good score against Rosedale-Kilmany, but will know it cannot simply go through the motions if it is to win.

The Swans did as they pleased on day one, with Rohan Blandford and John Mayman putting on a century opening stand.

With insurance in the bank and one of the best bowling attacks in the league, Sale bowlers Ben Jones, Daniel Croft and Coenie Nel will be eyeing off the key wickets of Warriors Rohan Diamond, Brad Scott and Hayden Freshwater.

It will be simple two-day cricket for Rosedale-Kilmany, who needs to ensure at least one of its big guns goes on and posts a big score if it is to be a realistic chance of winning.

Coach Hayden Glover will want to ensure his side has maximum wickets in the shed at tea, and hope his players can cash in later in the day.

Diamond is capable of changing gears as the match situation demands, and could have a big say in Saturday's result.

The Swans are the in-form team of the competition, and a comprehensive win over a side who are a proven challenger will continue to add to their credentials as premiership favourites.

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