After seeing the strength of the Orana Outlaws first hand, Central West captain Jameel Qureshi sees no reason why last season’s semi-finalists can’t go all the way in this summer’s Plan B Regional Bash.
For the second consecutive year the Outlaws knocked the Wranglers out in round one of the Cricket NSW Twenty20 tournament, with Sunday’s seven-wicket victory at No. 1 Oval a convincing one.
After winning the toss and batting, key man Qureshi was one of the wickets to fall during the Wranglers collapse from 1-81 to all out for 106.
The Outlaws cruised to that total and reached the target with more than five overs to spare and the beaten captain has no doubt the Orana side can go one better than last season, where it lost to eventual champions, the Border Bullets, at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“Absolutely, they’ve got a good side,” he said.
They’re very strong and went a long way last year and they’re full of good players everywhere.Jameel Qureshi
“They’re very strong and went a long way last year and they’re full of good players everywhere.
“They’re very dangerous.”
Qureshi pointed to the depth of the Orana side as its greatest strength.
New ball bowlers James O’Brien and Ben Strachan took just one wicket between them early on but the likes of Wes Giddings, Ben Patterson and Anthony Heraghty got the Outlaws right on top in the latter overs.
Giddings went on to be named man of the match after taking the match’s best figures, 3/15 from four overs, while he also hit 27 at the top of the order to the run chase off to a fine start.
The RSL-Colts veteran was somewhat of a surprise inclusion when chosen for the squad for last season’s finals at the SCG but he showed on Sunday his attacking style of play suits the format perfectly.
“It’s always good to contribute and to contribute as much as I did,” Giddings said.
“I was really pleased with it and didn’t think I’d even get that much of a bowl.
“I like the Twenty20 format so I was wondering how they were going about selecting the team and hoping to play if picked.”
Next up for the Outlaws is a clash with the South Coast Crew, a side they beat last season in the second round.
That match will be played at Bowral on November 6, and Giddings said the selectors face an almighty task to select a final 12 from the Outlaws’ talent-packed squad.