Tigers wait

Andrew Groves spoke to Richmond coach Jarrad Loughman ahead of tomorrow's acid test with Footscray Edgewater.

The Doggies will resume day two on 8-320 after dominating proceedings last Saturday.

Arun Harinath was the star hitting a superb 138 from 196 balls. He was supported by Dylan Kight (38).

Loughman is now waiting with baited breath to see what decision Dean Russ makes tomorrow.

The next few weeks are crucial ones for the defending Premiers.

Two positive results would tie up that all important spot in the top eight. But a slip-up would open the door for the other sides sniffing around.melb_fielder_r18_v_prah

At the moment the Tigers are nestled in fifth position, but there are only four points separating them from eighth placed Dandenong. The two will square off next Saturday in an intriguing encounter for the final two-dayer of the regular season.

“They are well within their rights to bat on,” said Loughman.

“But they might want to turn up with the new ball and try and take a few early wickets. We’ve been struggling with the bat of late, and we’ll have to wait on the availability of Cameron White and Will Sheridan.

“Of course to call on players of that calibre will be pretty handy. But saying that we had our strongest batting line up when we played Uni and they rolled us for 130. We certainly can't be relying on one or two blokes.

“Footscray batted exceptionally well - we need someone to match what Harinath did. He faced over 190 balls and set up a score of over 300 which is always a difficult target to chase.

“We didn’t bowl as well as we’d have liked. It was a hot day and we’ve not played many games this year where we’ve had to bowl 90 overs in a day, which really showed. But I suppose it was a positive to get some overs into some of the guys who haven’t been bowling long spells.

“If we manage to make the bottom half of the eight, we need to be taking ten wickets in a final. Hopefully we can learn from last week and improve next round.”

The Tigers have been in some big run battles already this season.

The fixture against North Melbourne before Christmas has already gone down in Premier folklore when the Roos came back from the dead to surpass 361.

“Whilst it was in vastly different conditions at the Junction, the Roos did it in 57 overs, which was amazing” added Loughman.

“Tomorrow’s total isn't insurmountable, but we’ll have to bat for most of the day and have some solid partnerships. Footscray certainly has the upper hand at the moment.”de_bolfo_v_melb_r18

Attention will then turn to a repeat of last year’s Premier Final when Richmond came out on top against Dandenong.

Tom Donnell’s men are fighting for their lives to stay in the mix after they were bowled out for 169 against Fitzroy last Saturday. The Lions closed on 2-66.

The Panthers have a habit of sneaking in the finals mix up and then causing havoc, something they’ve done for the last two seasons.

They will be a force to be reckoned with, especially with home advantage at their disposal.

“Dandenong finished eighth last year and made the Granny, I think I’m right in saying, so they know what it takes to get there,” continued Loughman.

“It’s a real bottleneck up there at the moment. You’ve got your top three, Ringwood look as though they’ve secured third place. But fourth place is up for grabs and outside the eight there are still a few teams who can make it. I think it shows how competitive the league is this year which is a good thing.

“We’re not in the best of form, we’ve won only one in our last six. But it’s just a matter of getting at least six points from our last two games and getting in there.

“Dandenong and Frankston have shown over the last few seasons you only need to get there and you’ve got a chance. When you get into finals it’s a whole new ball game, a clean slate to start with.”

One of the big stories last week was St Kilda’s collapse at the hands of Geelong.

The Saints make the return trip this week wobbling on 3-35 after being bowled out for 50 in their first innings.

The Cats declared on 9-203 earlier in an action-packed day, which included a Jake Reed hat-trick. They will be looking for an outright which will drag them back into the finals contention.

Frankston Peninsula will resume on 0-24 chasing Carlton’s 178.

Prahran, meanwhile, holds the upper hand over leaders Melbourne going into day two. The True Blues closed on 7-319 with Steve Seymour not out on 83.

North Melbourne are in with a shout of beating Northcote. The Dragons were all out for 211, with North 3-89 at the close.

Melbourne University need another 119 runs to get past Casey-South Melbourne’s 203. The Students will resume on 3-84.

Finally Ringwood will be looking for early wickets against Camberwell Magpies after declaring last week on a mighty 6-352.

The Pies made it to stumps on 0-7.

The state of play:

Ess 117 (MacRae 37 Rogers 3-28 Black 3-33) v Haw-Mon Uni 3-108 (Marnie 45 Tonkin 30) at Windy Hill
Prah 7-319 (Morrey 72 Mascarenhas 41 Seymour 83no Paynter 3-41) v Melb at Toorak Park
Frank Pen 0-24 v Carl 178 (Ross 61 Pilon 37 McCormick 5-44) at Frankston
N Melb 3-89 (Ghasperidis 38no) v Ncte 211 (Short 37 Doric 4-65 Lawford 3-60) at Junction Oval
Casey-SM 203 (Jones 75no Blandford 43 Harrop 4-58 Stafford 3-39 were 9-140) v Melb Uni 0-47 at Casey Fields, Cranbourne East
Rich v Foot Edge 8-320 (Harinath 138 Kight 38 Russ 33) at Central Reserve, Glen Waverley
Fitz Donc 2-66 v Dand 169 (Donnell 46 Duckworth 4-26 Moore 3-42) at Schramms Reserve, Doncaster
Ring 6(dec)352 (Stray 162no Holland 102 Osborne 35) v Camb Mag 0-7 at Russell Lucas Oval, Ringwood
Geel 9(dec)203 (Butterworth 74 Muller 35 Gribben 3-23) v St K 50 (Reed 4-15 incl hat-trick) & 3-15 (Carson 3-6) at Geelong

Victorian Premier Cricket
Ladder after R17
              Pts (Aver)
Melbourne      73 (1.745)hdr_premier_cricket_gs_pos
Prahran        70 (1.340)
Ringwood       59 (1.258)
St Kilda       57 (1.415)
Richmond       51 (1.710)
Carlton        49 (1.093)
Frank Pen      48 (1.014)
Dandenong      47 (1.304)
Melb Uni       47 (1.059)
Fitzroy Donc   44 (1.113)
Casey-SM       41 (0.822)
Geelong        35.8 (0.881)
Camb Mag       33 (0.800)
Foot Edge      27 (0.930)
North Melb     26 (0.706)
Haw-Mon Uni    12 (0.632)
Essendon       12 (0.623)
Northcote       9 (0.533)

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