Thirteen of Alice Springs’ best and brightest cricketers will get their final opportunity for a tune up this weekend before competing at the Senior Country Championships in South Australia.
An elite squad of Centralians will travel to the Barossa Valley on Sunday where they will compete against the most talented cricketers from country SA.
Saturday will be the final opportunity for the squad to find their top form as they will play for their clubs against one another before becoming teammates the next day.
The large contingent of West players, six in total, will get the chance to warm up for the championships with a match against Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
The Bloods managed a tight victory against Complete Constructions Cricket Club in their first fixture back last week, but looked a long way from their best in a scratchy display.
The club will look to return to top form against a Rovers side who have yet to register a win this season despite some positive showings from young players.
The Double Blues fell short of victory in their first match for 2021 against Solergy Alice Tigers, but will be buoyed by an impressive display from opening batsman Max Duffell.
Duffell was the shining light in the Rovers batting line-up, grinding his way to 43 and will be hoping for a similar performance against a strong West bowling attack.
West and Rovers will square off at 12.30pm on Saturday afternoon at Jim McConville Oval.
Federal players meanwhile will be in action for the first time since December when they take on Complete Constructions Cricket Club on Saturday.
With four players taking their place in the Country Championship squad, Federal will be aiming for top form in their first fixture of 2021.
Veteran Michael Klein-Boonschate will lead from the front with ball in hand for Federal, while young gun Moses Waring will also hope to show his wares with ball in hand.
CCCC will prove anything but an easy opponent however with their bowling attack coming off an impressive display against West.
Hasnain Zaidi proved the chief destroyer for CCCC, picking up impressive figures of 5/21 in his side’s loss.
CCCC and Federal will square off at Albrecht Oval from 12.30pm on Saturday.
In the B Grade, round nine will be highlighted by an enticing clash between CCCC and West.
Both sides are coming into the clash off victories against Solergy Alice Tigers and Federal Asbuild respectively.
Opening batsman Ryan Thomson will likely prove the key for West with the swashbuckling star fresh off an impressive 96* from just 82 deliveries against Federal.
That match will be played at Rhonda Diano Oval on Saturday from 12.30pm.
In the other B Grade fixture, Rovers will take on Alice Tigers at Flynn Reserve also at 12.30pm.
Country Championship Squad:
Jayden Dick (c), Banjo Waring (vc), Patrick Hannigan, Samindra Madushan, Thineth Arachchige, Doug McClure, Michael Klein-Boonschate, Ryan Burns, Moses Waring, Lucas Nitschke, Jacob Dick, William Andrews, Menuke Jasin