CRICKET: Caboolture holds the table lead in Sunshine Coast division one fixtures as sides enter the one-day component of the premiership chase, and will seek to maintain its unbeaten record when Maroochydore visits for the first 50 over clash.
The opening round of one-dayers has a history of marking the beginning of the storm season for the Sunshine Coast as well, with memorable hailstorms in 2012 and 2015 stopping all games. Early rain this year has caused disruption already, but also produced the benefit of lush fields.
Grant Road has been a fortress for the Snakes in the one-day arena, where Caboolture has been defeated just three times in the past decade in the fixture rounds. The Swans will look at the figures to see that they have inflicted two of those losses.
They will face a bowling attack lacking Matt Anderson, far and away the dominant limited overs bowler on the Coast for the past six seasons. His figures of 70 wickets in 38 matches at an average of 9.46 and an economy rate of 1.9 runs per were a huge factor in Caboolture's one-day four titles in the last six seasons.
Now Glen Batticciotto has taken the captaincy, and Maroochydore will need to pass the test with bat and ball once more.
Glasshouse and Gympie are undefeated after two matches, and fancy themselves as definite contenders. The Rangers host Nambour, who have turned a sparkling preseason T20 burst into a winless premiership opening, struggling with both bat and ball. Injury has played a role in the Cutters' woes, but a lack of discipline with the ball has conceded runs that give added pressure to the batsmen.
The Rangers are coming off a win over Tewantin where captain Jeremy Schultz and Dan Cahill each reached three figures, and with Liam Moffett returning from the Coast's successful Schaeffer Shield campaign as the top scorer for the second successive year, the visitors need no weakness in any department.
Gympie travels to Caloundra, and would be favoured against the Lighthouses, although the young home squad has started to show the benefits of a fairly brutal introduction to First Division. The inclusion of Queensland Country bat Brendan Jones, who has moved from Toowoomba, will be a boost for a struggling line-up, where Mitch Elmes has done the heavy lifting and Damien Smith and Sam Brandon have been effective with the ball.
Skipper Lewis Waugh is the consistent batsman the Gold need, and if he continues in the same vein and the free-spirited Gympie ethos rules, the visitors could make enough runs to worry the home side. Trevor Brady and Ash Sippel love this format, so the day/night clash could be entertaining.
LADDER: Caboolture 42, Glasshouse 30, Gympie 30, Maroochydore 24, Tewanin-Noosa 16, Nambour 9, Caloundra 7.
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