CAW keeps fast Oakley on its radar

CRICKET Albury-Wodonga coach Trent Ball says his side will take a cautious approach against Adelaide Strikers paceman Ben Oakley in Sunday’s Konica-Minolta Cup semi-final against Western District in Canberra.

The left-armer, who has a supplementary Big Bash League contract, has been hitting speeds of 140km/h with the new ball and shapes as the biggest threat to the Border line-up advancing to the Twenty20 decider against either Tuggeranong or Weston Creek.

“Probably the smartest option would be to look to attack at the other end,” Ball said yesterday.

“They rely heavily on Oakley and also former Wagga player Ethan Bartlett.

“I would say the smartest tactic would be to not take too many risks against Oakley and try not to lose early wickets.”

CAW has named its strongest line-up of the representative season for Sunday’s match at Kingston with Ball admitting the competition for spots was intense.

Ball, Robbie Jackson, Luke Restall, Nathan Thompson, James Tonkin, James Weighell and Greg Daniel will be counted on to make the bulk of the runs, while St Patrick’s Mark Butters and Weighell look the trump cards with the ball.

Thompson’s availability will depend on work commitments.

“I’m very happy with our side and have been all year,” he said.

“The big thing is that we have played nine rep games this year which is more than club cricket so everyone has played a lot of cricket together and everyone is excited about playing in these big games.

“Our goal at the start of the year was to win a competition whether it be the Konica, SCG Cup or Country Week and this weekend is our first opportunity so we can’t wait.

“It would be great to bring the Konica Cup back to the bush.”

The semi-final will start at 10am with the final scheduled for 2.30pm.

The CAW team is: Trent Ball, Robbie Jackson, Luke Restall, Nathan Thompson, James Tonkin, James Weighell, Greg Daniel, Tom Wells, Sam Drury, Ben Kohler-Cadmore, Ashan Ranaweera, Mark Butters; emerg: Brendan Klein-Boonschate, Ned McCormack.