Panthers must improve for cricket finals

HARD-HITTING opener Darryn Murrell says concentration, partnerships and protecting wickets will be pivotal if Warrion is to complete a season-defining run chase.

The Panthers will resume their innings at 1-16 chasing Stoneyford’s 130 at turf-wicket Warrion Cricket Ground tomorrow in a match which will finalise the finals make-up.

Murrell is eight not out having survived five tense overs last weekend.

Warrion’s Darryn Murrell has called on his teammates to concentrate and build partnerships when they resume their run chase against Stoneyford.

He said he and his teammates had to “knuckle down” if they were to win the contest.

“We haven’t made a lot of big scores this year. Any run chase we’ve really got to knuckle down and make sure we concentrate and get through it,” he said.

“It’s more about building partnerships and making sure we don’t lose quick wickets. That’s the key to chasing smaller totals, and putting a decent total on the board.”

A semi-final against either Alvie or City United awaits should Warrion prevail on its home strip tomorrow.

From there, anything can happen – something United proved last year when it knocked minor premier Warrion out of finals en route to the flag.

The memory remains fresh in the Panthers’ minds, including Murrell, who described the loss as a fatal slip-up.

But he said a new-look and younger Warrion side had a chance to write its own history.

“I think the guys have had a good crack. To get to finals would be a pretty good achievement considering I don’t think anyone would’ve rated us to make it this far,” he said.

“Everyone has to be pretty happy with themselves if we make it. The younger guys especially who have come in – Darcy Lang and Jack Berry open the bowling pretty much every week.”

Murrell grew up playing for Cressy but crossed to Warrion when he moved into Colac almost a decade ago.

He has made a name for himself as an aggressive opener, but he said he batted that way because it was effective.

“A lot of guys would think I just go out there to try and smash it out of the park and be a hero,” he said.

“The truth is I’ve played cricket for a fair few years and that’s the way I’ve made runs. I try to make runs for the team and that’s the best way to do it.”

In other matches, Alvie will attempt to chase City United’s 150 at Eastern Reserve, and Irrewarra faces a tough test to run down Colac’s 236 at Irrewarra.

See the latest Colac Herald print edition for more cricket previews and news.

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