IT'S MEGAHIT TIME: Night cricket returns

THE 2012/13 night cricket season gets under way tonight with Christie’s Crackerjacks and Club Dubbo to face off in the opening clash under lights.

The Crackerjacks are made up of players from the Macquarie Cricket Club while Newtown will provide the players for the Club Dubbo-sponsored side. 

Crackerjacks captain Kieran Brien is tasting senior leadership for the first time and admits he is excited by the prospect of leading a youthful side into the Twenty20 competition.

“We’ve got some big hitters in our side but I think where we will be good is running between wickets,” Brien said. 

“We’ve got a lot of athletic, quick guys and that has helped us so far in Whitney Cup and I'm sure it will help us in the Megahit as well.”

While the Crackerjacks have experience in the form of Dan Medway and Andrew Page, they are also relying on youth, promoting Angus Cusack from the under-16s as well as some second graders into their squad for the Friday night competition.

As well, they will have sponsored player Peter Singh, a partner at Christies, as a guest player who must have a bowl in the first 10 overs and must bat in the top six.

“It’s a good chance for the boys that have been picked and it gives them a chance to play some solid cricket in a quick atmosphere,” Brien said.

“I’m going to have to make a lot of quick decisions and think on my feet a bit as captain and that can only be good for my cricket going forward.”

At full strength, Club Dubbo has the potential to be a force in the Twenty20 competition but they are hamstrung at the moment as all-rounder Mat Skinner recovers from off-season knee surgery and captain Steve Skinner battles a broken bone in his hand.

With the brothers at 100 per cent, Club Dubbo could beat anybody but Brien is not taking tonight’s game for granted.

“I’m not sure what kind of team Newtown are going to put forward but regardless they will be tough to beat,” Brien said.

“Mat can still hurt us with the bat even though he isn’t bowling but they will miss Steve. He’s dangerous with bat and ball.

“A lot will depend on Mat, and Wayne Dunlop if he plays, because if those two blokes get going they can make a big score in pretty quick time.

“We need to do everything right, just like we have been on Saturdays.”

CHRISTIES CRACKERJACKS: Kieran Brien (c), Daniel Medway, Ian Marchant, Cody Hannelly, Joe Haylock, Ben Page, Andrew Page, Daniel Holland, Adam Thurlow, Wade Burrowes, Angus Cusack, Peter Singh.

CLUB DUBBO: Mat Skinner (c), Tetaan Henning, Dan French, Tom Skinner, Rob Gudgeon, Ben Patterson, Craig Pettit, Harry van Dartel, Nick Cushan, Marty Jeffrey, David Brown, EJ Kinsela.

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