Border Bullets' co-coach Trent Ball says the Sydney Cricket Ground is the number one focus with selectors facing a tough week after a clinical win against Murrumbidgee Rangers in the Regional Bash on Sunday.
The Bullets were forced to bring in a number of players, due to injury and unavailability, and the group responded with a seven-wicket victory, with 31 balls left.
Depending on who's available for the final two regular season games against Wagga Sloggers and ACT Aces at Lavington on Sunday, selectors could have to drop players who performed and made the long trip to Griffith.
"A couple of blokes were unavailable, which is unfortunate, but we've said all along the year is about trying to get to the SCG and we will pick players who we think we need to win," Ball offered.
A couple of blokes were unavailable, which is unfortunate, but we've said all along the year is about trying to get to the SCG and we will pick players who we think we need to win. It will be unfortunate if guys who played here have to miss out, but that's what will happen.- Border Bullets' co-coach Trent Ball
"It will be unfortunate if guys who played here have to miss out, but that's what will happen."
The Bullets won the inaugural statewide T20 competition in its debut year of 2015-16, but there's been a host of disappointing losses since, albeit in some close results, particularly against fierce rivals Wagga.
The Rangers were dismissed for 101 after 19 overs with Riverina rep Nathan Brown (3-18), co-coach Liam Scammell (2-17) and Lachie McMillan (2-24) claiming the bulk of the wickets.
Brown and former Victorian Premier Cricket all-rounder Scammell were superb, cleverly mixing up their pace.
"Yeah, they did a great job and they just showed their quality, but everyone played well," Ball suggested.
Riverina bat Dean Bennett top-scored for the home side with 41.
The visitors also fielded superbly on the big Exies' Sportsground.
"There was hardly a mistake, we've been working on all aspects of our game and the fielding was just what we expected," Ball reasoned.
The Bullets lost hard-hitting Jesse Griffiths from the second ball to another of the Rangers' four Riverina reps in quick Luke Docherty.
However, Brown quickly took the match away with some power hitting, racing to 37 from 27 balls, including five boundaries in a typical display of power and poise.
"He's been struggling to make a run at club level, so we put him up to number three and I just told him, 'hit the ball while the field is up, there's no pressure, don't worry if you make a mistake' and maybe it released the shackles a bit," Ball said.
Brown and opener Neil Smith, who also came into the team after the original squad was named, combined in a half-century stand.
Smith chipped in with a patient 17 from 25 balls, while Jack Gilbee reeled off an unbeaten 22 late in the ideal display in preparation for the 'big two' in Wagga and ACT.
Wagga will be under enormous pressure in the first game as it lost to the Aces by 29 runs in Canberra on Sunday.
Ball confirmed former association star Jack Craig, who played in that win at the SCG six years ago before moving to Melbourne last summer, will be the State of Origin player against the Sloggers and the Aces, while they're looking to confirm a marquee player from Victorian Premier Cricket as early as Monday.
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If the Bullets are able to beat Wagga in the morning and the Aces topple the Rangers next door on the Lavington Sportsground No. 2 Oval, it sets up a cracking afternoon clash between the ACT and Albury-Wodonga.
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