In the lead-up to the opening round of the Dubbo Premier League, big scores and even bigger sixes were promised.
During the first two days of Dubbo’s first hard tennis ball Twenty20 tournament, spectators were treated to anything but.
Despite the low scores at South Dubbo Oval the opening matches of the inaugural Dubbo Premier League were considered a huge success and have set the stage for an intriguing two days of finals.
No side managed to score more than 100 last weekend but the Dubbo Rhinos still managed to assert their authority and book a place in Sunday’s final.
“We were expecting a lot of runs but the outfield was a bit thick and it was hard to score,” organiser and Dubbo Rhinos player Sanu Joy said.
“The highest score was about 90 from 20 overs and we were expecting scores of 200 and massive sixes but it just didn’t happen.”
The rain around the region on Friday also played a role in the tricky conditions, but the Rhinos still managed to handle it the best.
Wins over the Orange Strikers and Dubbo Royal Challengers were recorded last weekend, but a much bigger challenge awaits in the decider.
Two of the visiting sides, the Newcastle Hunters and Kairali Thunders Penrith do battle on Saturday morning in what is expected to be one of the matches of the tournament.
Joy said he expects roughly 200 people to be on hand to watch the match between two sides who have won similar carnivals all over the state.
The winner of that match will play the Dubbo Markhors for the right to meet the Rhinos in the final.
While the Newcastle and Penrith sides are favoured to make it all the way through, the Markhors proved in last weekend’s Orana Bangla Tigers they are capable of playing at a high level.
“Newcastle Hunters are the best in NSW at the moment,” Joy said.
“The final will be quite interesting because Rhinos have done a good job.”
Joy has been one of the standouts in the competition so far, taking a league-high six wickets for the Rhinos up to this point.
The Dubbo Royal Challengers may not have advanced to the finals weekend but Virender Singh still impressed and leads all run-scorers currently with 55 to his name.
And while the individual prizes and cheque for $1000 the winning side receives is much-desired, there is more to the tournament than that.
Joy said the close-knit community feel and fun had by all last weekend was a highlight.
“From an organisers point of view we had more spectators there than we thought we would,” he said.
“And we really appreciate the 20-25 volunteers we had there working.”