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OBR scrambling for players

IT'S a top-of-the-table clash in premier cricket tomorrow as OBR take on High School Old Boys, while either Horouta or Gisborne Boys' High School will earn their first win of the season.

But this morning Coastal Concrete OBR were unsure whether they would be able to field 11 players.

That could open the door for Bollywood Stars HSOB, who had OBR on the ropes at 47-5 before rain shortened an earlier game this season.

With several players unavailable because of other commitments, OBR captain Nick Greeks said they were still four players short as of this morning.

HSOB and OBR have been jockeying for position at the top of the leaderboard. Both teams opened their season with three wins from three games.

The run will end for one of them tomorrow. With only one more week of regular-season Doleman Cup cricket, both teams are out to stamp their mark on the competition.

HSOB have looked the most well-rounded premier-grade team this season, with a majority of their players finding good runs with the bat.

By the numbers, they have the three best batsmen in the competition — Dave Castle, Sean Willis and Scott Tallott.

Meanwhile, OBR have been dangerous with the ball. Jimmy Holden and Paul Stewart top the competition's wicket-takers leaderboard, tied on seven.

Both teams will have to be at the top of their game for the full 40 overs. Any dropped catches or lazy wickets could be the difference when two teams are so evenly matched.

Asked about their chances tomorrow, HSOB captain Carl Shaw said he didn't think they had shown the consistency and control to be favourites yet.

“If the blokes who are starting to find form continue, then we will be in a good place.”

He said he expected nothing less than a tough game from OBR, who were always ready to bring the heat if their opponents weren't on top of their game.

“We're looking forward to getting in a full game against OBR,” Shaw said.

“We really missed out on a good game the other week. Can't do anything about the weather though.”

Galaxy World GBHS and Siteworx Solutions Horouta have both been searching for form after starting the season with sluggish performances.

Both teams can be dominant but haven't been able to fit the pieces together just yet.

With Graham Sharp back in the Boys' High squad tomorrow, they will be confident that if they bat first they have the firepower to put Horouta on the back foot

Captain Nathan Trowell said having someone with Sharp's experience had been character-building for the whole team.

“It'll be a close game,” Trowell said.

“There is a lot to take out of tomorrow's game leading into the semis.”

Horouta seem to either outperform or underperform expectations.

Just when you start to count them out, they produce a piece of magic that makes you wonder why you ever doubted them, but they have struggled to string together strong performances.

They have some outstanding players in their ranks but have not been able to find that meaningful partnership that would enable them to post a par-total in their opening three games.

Captain David Situ said they needed to bat smarter and be sharper in the field if they were to win tomorrow.

“It will be a good game this weekend. The boys know what we need to do to win games.

“We're hoping we can put it all together for a strong game against them, but the Boy's High squad are so talented, so it'll be a good game.”