RETURN: Belmont skipper Mark Littlewood will more than likely bat next of his team against Stockton-Raymond Terrace at Cahill Oval on Saturday.Picture: Jonathan Carroll.A gamble to play a man down last weekend may pay dividends for Belmont on Saturday as skipper Mark Littlewood returns in pursuit of an outlandish outright victory.
Despite being bowled out for 23 in their first innings Belmont, the Newcastle District Cricket Association competition leaders,need a further 112 runs with eight wickets in hand and 90 overs available to secure maximum points against Stockton-Raymond Terrace at Cahill Oval.
Littlewoodmissed the unusual events ofday one, which also included the visitors twice being dismissed under 100,because of a 10-year premiership reunion in Adelaide with previous South Australian club Sturt.
But he was still named on the team sheet meaning this season’s leading batsman, with 650 runs next to his name including three centuries, will more than likely be next man in for the hosts.
“That was always the intention, to try and contribute in some way on the second day,” Littlewood said.
“It wasn’t the best showing with the bat, more embarrassing than anything, but the boys have done well to fight back and take 20 wickets which has put us in a pretty good position.”
Belmont resume at 2-24.
Around the grounds and Wests are in a strong position to pounce on much-needed maximum points away against Cardiff-Boolaroo.
The eighth-placed Rosellas have the hosts 2-33 in their second innings at Cardiff Oval, still leadingby 17 runs overall after declaring 50 ahead at 6-133.
Over at No.1 Sportsground and University will take up the chase against Toronto (7-258) on day twoafter the Kookaburras recovered from 4-27 to reach stumpsin the crucial top-four clash.
Remaining round 13 matchesrevert to one-day fixtures with wet weather preventingplay at Learmonth Park, WaratahOval and Wallsend Ovallast weekend.
Hamilton-Wickham have Ryhs Hanlon back in for Jordy Toby while Clint Goodchap is set to make his first grade debut when the second-placed Pumas host Newcastle City.
Waratah-Mayfield are down injured bowlerAron Tisher facing an unchanged Merewether with Michael Holt called up.
Wallsend and Charlestown areas per program.
Meanwhile, the inauguralSixers Social Women’s Cricket competition commences across three Newcastle venues on Sunday with 20 teams registered.
LADDER: Belmont 71, Hamilton-Wickham 55, University 50, Toronto 49, Charlestown 44, Merewether 40, Waratah-Mayfield 38, Wests 34, Newcastle City 29, Stockton-Raymond Terrace 22, Wallsend 21, Cardiff-Boolaroo 9.