New City import Tendai Maruma has issued a warning to the rest of the competition - he means business.
The Zimbabwean all-rounder has set himself for a big second half of the season after a tough start by his lofty standards.
Maruma has compiled just 128 runs from his six innings at an average a tick above 20, but he has taken six wickets.
The strike weapon produced his best knock of the campaign for the Phoenix with a classy half-century against Wodonga before the Christmas break and he's confident he can build on it.
Maruma wants to start with a strong performance against former club North Albury at Bunton Park on Saturday.
"I'm always looking to put on a show," he said.
"Not only against North Albury, whichever team we're playing I want to bring my A game.
"If I pull it off, it will be a good one, but if I come up short I know I'll be putting in 200 per cent.
"I want the game to be really good to watch."
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Maruma missed matches early in the season due to injury, but has worked overtime to give himself the best possible chance to have an impact.
New City has just one win to its name thus far, but lost a handful of close contests, including its most recent clash against Wodonga by just three wickets, so there's plenty of reasons to be optimistic.
"I'm quite happy with our side. A lot of players moved away and there's been a lot of guys from lower grades and youngsters coming up," Maruma said.
"It's the first time for a lot of them in A grade cricket, but I think we played really well at the end of last year.
"It's just a matter of now converting those close games into wins. We should have won a lot more games, but that experience now plays a big role.
"There's no pressure on the boys, but we'll be giving it our all and looking forward to the challenge."
An in-form Maruma will markedly improve New City, but he doesn't feel he is under any extra pressure to perform.
"All of my life, I've played under pressure," Maruma said.
"I played in the UK as an overseas player and we face a lot of challenges.
"At this time I haven't felt any pressure at all, I'm just enjoying my game and the competition. I don't have any pressure at all.
"You can only do so much and when it's time to reap the rewards, the good things will come.
"I've been working my butt off and the results will show."
In Saturday's other matches, Tallangatta plays host to East Albury, Wodonga Raiders take on Belvoir with the winner a chance to move inside the top six, St Patricks square off with Wodonga and Lavington welcomes Corowa, while second-placed Albury has the bye.
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