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Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League: Wanderers the favourites over Sportsmans in preliminary final

Victor TantiGeraldton Guardian
The Sporties’ Riley Barham gets ready to bat.
Camera IconThe Sporties’ Riley Barham gets ready to bat. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/RegionalHUB

The Wanderers have it all in their favour in Saturday’s Geraldton Bendigo Bank Cricket League preliminary final against the Sportsmans at GBSC Park.

Their batters average 24.48 runs a wicket as opposed to the Sportsmans’ 14.25, while wickets for the Wanderers cost 14.08 runs apiece compared to the Sportsmans’ 18.83.

The Wanderers have six batters with more than 250 season runs, led by Zane Marwick who in all games — including the T20 final — has a total of 537 runs at 48.81.

Conversely, only veteran Clint Yeates has topped 250 for the Sporties thanks to his past two scores of 80 and 68— incredibly his team’s only 50s this season.

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The Wanderers have three bowlers with 15 or more wickets plus Henry Anderson, Ian Oglesby, Gus Heberle, Marwick and Shayne Bidwell as options.

The Sporties have two bowlers with 15 or more wickets, and aside from Simon Evans and Xavier Bochat, nowhere near as much back-up.

Wanderers captain Kade Gillingham said his team regarded missing direct grand final entry to the Towns by a razor-thin margin as history.

“That was something we couldn’t control — we tried our best last week and that’s all I can ask for,” Gillingham said.

“If we play our best cricket tomorrow, we should get the job done but finals are funny things, Sporties have some quality cricketers so anything is possible.

“We have the right players in form at the right time, our batters are happy to bat anywhere, lots of bowling options and we’ve been training well.”

Sportsmans’ Riley Barham agreed his side was the underdog but were free from expectations and would play accordingly.

“It’s clear Wanderers and Towns have been the best sides all year,” Barham said.

“But cricket is a game where it can be your day against anyone and we’re looking forward to it.

“Evans and (Brad) Roworth will be back which will help our depth but I’m not overthinking it or coming up with plans; we will play freely and see what we can do.”

In the B-grade semi-finals, minor premiers Dongara will be hard to beat at home thanks to Matt Greenlees, Archie Bougard, Matt Smith, Chris Bowran, Gus Spalding, Brett Broad, Clint Chivers and Ben McTaggart.

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