CAPTAIN’S CALL: South Services’ captain Chris Cleaver believes his side can still play finals cricket if they defeat Coutts Crossing today.
CAPTAIN’S CALL: South Services’ captain Chris Cleaver believes his side can still play finals cricket if they defeat Coutts Crossing today. Debrah Novak

Final result hanging in the balance

CRCA CRICKET: Despite his side appearing to be on the ropes after leaking almost 300 runs to Coutts Crossing on day one, South Services captain Chris Cleaver honestly believes the match is still there for both sides to win.

“I reckon it’s still fifty-fifty, it is anyone’s game,” Cleaver said. “If the pitch is anything like it was last week then we should be in for a good day’s play.

“To be honest I thought we bowled pretty good, when Adam (Spies) came on he was a bit all over the place but he was carrying an injury into the match.

“Credit to Coutts, they built partnerships and batted well. They probably feel like they have the edge at the moment and that’s fair. It was a bad toss to lose, probably my worst but we just need to get on with it now.”

While Souths are staring down a highly competitive Coutts total, they have the batsman who are up to the challenge with Brendan Cleaver and Tom Kroehnert both among the top run scorers in the Clarence River Cricket Association.

The recent return of Justin ‘Jugger’ Rainbow has also strengthened the South Services batting line-up with Rainbow in scintillating form since his return to the crease last month.

Souths are also expected to bolster their side by adding Rowan Green who was missing last weekend in the place of a non-batting bowler.

“I think everyone needs to just go out there and play their natural game,” Cleaver said. “I will be telling the boys that we are chasing this down. There is no point sitting back and playing for the draw.

“I think if we are still there after 80 overs we will be well and truly over 300 anyway. We just have to break the run chase down, if we get off to a bad start in the first session then we reassess and go from there.”

Cleaver believes his side and their opposition were both unlucky not to already be in the top four.

“If you win seven games and lose five, then it is just ridiculous not to make finals,” he said. “Poor Coutts are in the same boat. Some sides have just gotten lucky.”



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