The possible return of injured Harwood bowler Kane Aeschlimann remains a talking point ahead of the major semi-final.
The possible return of injured Harwood bowler Kane Aeschlimann remains a talking point ahead of the major semi-final.

Will he or won't he?

ONE team boasts a strong batting line up. The other is blessed with match-winning bowlers.

Today’s major semi-final between Harwood and Westlawn has the makings of a classic cricket encounter.

In the past there has been little between the two teams.

In Round 1 Harwood scraped home with a nail-biting three-run victory and in their next match-up they played out an exciting tie.

Harwood captain Tim McMahon has no doubts his team will need to combat one of the best bowling attacks in the Premier League.

Rohan Hackett, Matt Lobsey, John and Tony Blanch are all capable of ripping through opposition batting line-ups.

The question is, can they maintain pressure for 100 overs against a Harwood team known for its fighting spirit?

“Westlawn have a very good bowling attack. There is no let up with them, they keep coming at you,” McMahon said yesterday.

“We will go into the game like any other cricket match and try to bat out our overs.”

McMahon added he was also wary of Westlawn’s batting capabilities on a wicket that should favour the batsmen.

“They (Westlawn) have a few batsmen who can bat for long periods,” he said.

“Charlie (Daniel Amos) and Brad Inmon are both dangerous and Shaun Ulrick and Jason Chevalley are big-time players.

“Simon Wilson has batted well this season and Rohan Hackett has found form at late.

“Our curator, Blair Littlechild, has been rolling the wicket and it should be good to bat on.”

For Harwood a lot will rely on its young brigade, which has limited Premier League finals experience. Ben McMahon, Nathan Essex, Richie Tabor and Mitchell Johnson are talented cricketers and according to McMahon all four have what it takes to shine on the big stage.

“All the kids have been playing with confidence this season and as far as I’m concerned they’re right as rain,” he said.

Harwood might be given a timely boost, with opening bowler Kane Aeschlimann reportedly rolling his arm over in the nets during the week.

Aeschlimann’s experience and ability to move the ball off the deck would be a huge plus for the minor premier.

“We’ve named 12 players and at this stage Kane may take the field,” McMahon said.

“Kane bowled in the nets the other night and pulled up a little sore, so we will make a decision on the day.

“He hasn’t played for over a month due to a pinched nerve in his back.”

Westlawn captain Daniel Amos was holding his cards close to his chest when asked about the make-up of his final 11.

Nathan Blanch has been out since the Christmas break with an injured thumb and according to Amos a decision on his fitness will be made today.

“Nathan will play for sure if he’s fit,” Amos said.

“We’re not sure of our final 11. It’s up in the air at this stage and we will make a decision before the game.”



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