Roos fight to stay top _ bendigo advertiser

ON THE RISE: Kangaroo Flat youngster Dylan Klemm has taken 14 wickets for the Roos this season. How much should a cleaning lady charge per hour The Roos take on Bendigo United in the match of the round at Harry Trott Oval on Saturday. Other words for cleaning lady Picture: NONI HYETT

The Roos and Redbacks enter their round 13 clash at Harry Trott Oval sitting first and third on the ladder.

If the Redbacks were to win there’s the possibility the Roos could lose top spot and they could meet again in a semi-final on the weekend of March 18-19.

The Roos continue to answer all challenges thrown at them, with the side having won six games in a row and not being beaten since losing to Eaglehawk in December.

Their bowling – rated No.1 in the Addy rankings – has been particularly strong through the six-game winning streak, with the highest score they have conceded being 142 by Golden Square.

Captain Brent Hamblin (24 wickets) and Adam Burns (21) have led the bowling department with the new ball, while Chris Barber (17), Dylan Klemm (14) and Liam Jones (12) have been a fine supporting cast.

The Redbacks – the No.1 ranked batting team – go into the game with the competition’s two leading run-scorers in Ben Gunn (516) and Heath Behrens (469).

Since making a first-ball duck against Kangaroo Flat in round nine, Gunn has hit back with scores of 133 and 93 in his previous two innings, while veteran off-spinner Nick Crawford has 19 wickets in his past five games and 29 for the season.

• Golden Square will be determined to avoid another disastrous batting performance like last time against Huntly-North Epsom when it plays the Power at Sunline Plastering Oval.

When they last met in round nine in a January one-dayer, Square was bowled out for 42 in what was a 203-run hiding from the Power.

However, since then the Power has lost their past three games – all to the finals-bound Bendigo United, Kangaroo Flat and Eaglehawk.

In the past two of those losses to the Hawks and Roos the Power have been bowled out for scores of 84 and 95.

Golden Square has won just one of its five games since the mid-season break and has had plenty of problems with the bat, with only one score above 150 in those five games.

According to BDCA historian Darren Rodda’s figures, Golden Square’s Scott Johnson (222 runs) needs seven more to reach 10,000 career runs, and 24 more for 9000 in the first XI.

Given both sides’ recent form with the bat, this is shaping as a bowler-dominated contest.

• Eaglehawk will take plenty of momentum into its game against Strathfieldsaye at Canterbury Park.

The Hawks haven’t been beaten in their past eight games, with that run including their tied match against Huntly-North Epsom in round eight.

Paceman Richard Tibbett has been in fine form for the Hawks with at least two wickets in each of his past seven games and 26 for the season, while with the bat, Andrew Smith (420 runs), who has done it three times, is the only player to have passed 50 in the past five games.

Strathfieldsaye is headed for its third BDCA wooden spoon and first since 1997-98, but showed with its dominant win over White Hills last round that it isn’t just going through the motions to end the season.

Opener Greg Lyon (392 runs) has been one of form batsmen of the competition post-Christmas having made no less than 42 in his past four innings, while off-spinner Beauden Rinaldi has proven one of the competition surprise packets with 23 wickets.

EXPERIENCED: Strathfieldsaye opener Greg Lyon has been one of the form batsmen of the competition since the mid-season break.

• White Hills and Strathdale-Maristians will be both coming off defeats when they meet at Glen Loddon Homes Oval.

The Suns last round lost to Bendigo for the first time since 2002-03, while White Hills was served up a hiding from bottom-placed Strathfieldsaye.

The Demons must show more application with the bat after they were bundled out in just 34 overs for 118 by the Jets.

Last round was the third time this season the Demons have been knocked over for less than 120. Do i tip the cleaning lady Another was their round nine loss to the Suns when they were all out for 115.

The Suns’ side features the competition’s leading wicket-taker in leg-spinner Cameron Taylor, who has 32 for the season, including 20 in his past three games with hauls of five, six and nine.

• Bendigo and Sandhurst will round out their seasons against each other at Axis Employment Oval.

The Dragons have failed to deliver on their pre-season hype when they looked to have recruited strongly and they could now slip to as low as seventh if beaten after earlier sitting a game clear on top of the ladder after five rounds.

Having been in wooden spoon danger after round 10 when they had just lost their seventh game in a row, the Goers after wins over Strathdale-Maristians and Strathfieldsaye in their past two matches could yet finish in fifth position, while they need one more victory to surpass last season’s tally of four, which would be a positive to take out of 2016-17 for captain-coach Shane Koop.

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