ARCH-rivals Wangaratta Magpies and Rovers will face off under lights tonight.
The cricketing neighbours have pushed their Twenty20 clash back to a 7pm start to add to the novelty of the big bash game.
The Magpies will be looking to keep pace with the league’s top four, while Rovers want to atone in the wake of its collapse in last week’s match against Myrtleford.
Rovers captain Jacob Schonafinger said he hopes the Twenty20 match at Norm Minns Oval will be a chance for his side to bounce back after their opening three batsmen failed to score as they succumbed to Myrtleford’s ferocious attack.
“Having Nehlm Peishantha back for them was a huge plus for them — he just tore through our top order,” Schonafinger said.
“We had an off day, and they’re a handy side who are going to be one of the teams to beat.
“Hopefully we can get a result against the Magpies and have good win before Christmas.”
Schonafinger said the Rovers batting order may be rearranged to capitalise on the fast-paced action of the Twenty20 game.
“We’ll try and play as many of the young ones as possible because they’re fast in the field, and as far as the batting order goes that will change a bit, but the key is to still bat out the 20 overs,” he said.
“It is a fairly big open ground, so we’ll try and get as many boundaries as possible.”
Schonafinger’s opposite number Simon Patterson agreed, saying that he was excited to be playing under lights.
“It’s a concept that maybe the league could look at a bit more, perhaps playing on a Friday night under lights,” he said.
The Magpies captain said he would try and impress upon his players the importance of scoring quickly after some dull batting performances this season.
“Our batting has let us down in our three losses, so that’s something we can improve on,” Patterson said.
“We’ve got a young side, so we’re not massive hitters although there are guys who can when it’s their day, but I think I just need to drum into them that we should score off as many balls as possible, whether it’s ones or twos or anything.”