The hopes of Western Zone’s two Plan B Regional Bash representatives go on the line this weekend and, as is the case in most Twenty20 contests, it’s fair to think the match will be decided by one of the many destructive batsmen set to be on show.
But Orana Outlaws gun Mitch Bower thinks otherwise.
Bower, who has stepped aside as captain this summer to allow marquee man and former NSW Blues player Nathan Pilon to take over, says his side’s bowling and fielding will help them defeat the Central West Wranglers at No. 1 Oval.
“You’ve got to be up to scratch otherwise it can make it hard,” he said.
“If we can bowl in the right corridors and not be sloppy in the field it will set it up for our batsmen.
“Or if we set a total they’ve got to do the right thing with the ball to defend it. Everyone sees the big hits in Twenty20 but a lot of that is backed up by the bowling.”
The Outlaws will start as warm favourites in Sunday’s match, having defeated the Wranglers by 62 runs in the corresponding fixture of last year’s inaugural Regional Bash.
The 19-man squad for this season features 12 players who play in the Whitney Cup while marquee men Pilon and Ben Patterson are both Dubbo products.
Bower was unable to confirm if a final team had been chosen yet but whichever way the selectors lean there is no doubt the Outlaws final 11 will be stacked with talent.
The likes of Bower, Jordan Moran, Anthony Heraghty and Michael Curtale are all capable of clearing the boundary with ease while seamers Patterson, Jacob McNaught and Ben Strachan all possess genuine pace.
The squad is largely made up of the same players who helped the Outlaws make the semi-finals of the competition last season, where the side got the opportunity to play on the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
“We want the same thing and have got similar goals,” Bower said of the 2016/17 campaign.
“We want to win the first to games and have a crack at the SCG. But we’ve just got to worry about these guys (Wranglers) and then go from there.”
While captaincy is a role Bower enjoys, he added he was looking forward to playing without the extra responsibility.
“I do like being captain in the longer format but in the short format I’m happy for someone else to do it,” he said.
“He (Pilon) is the bloke who has played the most cricket and played at the highest level and even last year he was mentoring me a bit so it won’t be too different really and I might help out still.”
Sunday’s match at No. 1 Oval begins at 2pm but gates open at 10am for the junior curtain-raiser matches.