HE may not feel the pressure of trying to build on an impressive run of success, but Bathurst captain Adam Ryan still labels this Sunday’s Presidents Cup match against Lithgow as a ‘must win’.
Over the last eight seasons Bathurst has enjoyed a remarkable run of success in the Mitchell Cricket Council competition. Not only has it been crowned as the best senior outfit for each of those campaigns, but only twice has the side tasted defeat.
It fell to Orange by 14 runs in November 2013, and in January 2017, lost to the same opponent by a wicket.
This season as Bathurst began its bid for a ninth consecutive crown, it suffered a one wicket loss to Blue Mountains.
That means if Bathurst falls to Lithgow on Sunday at Scots, the title defence is over.
It would also make it four games in a row without a win for the Bathurst District side this season, having fallen to Dubbo then tied with Parkes in the Western Zone Premier League.
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Ryan is determined to avoid both those situations.
“There’s been some good cricket played in the representative comps and unfortunately we’ve been on the other end of it the last couple of games, so we definitely need to rectify that. We need to go out all guns blazing and have a really red hot crack,” he said.
“It’s definitely a must win for us. Obviously not having a result thus far puts the pressure on you, but I think just naturally other teams lift to play us because they want to beat us.
“I don’t want to go three games in a row and have a duck egg with no wins as a skip either, so I’ll probably be hungrier than everyone else.”
While Ryan is yet to open his account as captain, having stepped up in the absence of the injured Jameel Qureshi, he knows he has the talent at his disposal to get the job done.
There are five changes to the side which lost to Blue Mountains as Nic Broes, Tanvir Singh, Ben Parsons and Andrew Brown return while Dave Henderson been added to the squad.
If Henderson gets a start he will add spice with the ball, having taken 10 wickets at an average of 10 in first grade for City Colts.
But while Henderson gives Ryan an express option with the ball, it is with the bat the captain feels Bathurst needs to improve.
“The first rep game we didn’t value our wickets enough, then the last game we valued it a bit too much and didn’t have the quickness of the runs ticking over in different parts of the match. So hopefully we can get that balance right this weekend,” he said.
“You have got so many options, so it’s just putting the right jigsaw together on the day I guess.”
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The Lithgow side does have its potential match winners – Central West Wranglers representative and skipper Ben Sheehan chief amongst them. However, Ryan wants his players to focus on themselves.
“We just have to worry about playing our game – bowling well, batting consistently and tick the score over, we don’t want to get ourselves bogged down, but we have to make sure we don’t play rash shots,” he said.
Sunday’s match at Scots starts at 10am.