Sport

Scorchers hang on to hope of making finals

WELL DONE, MATE: The Scorchers’ Paul Cash, centre, is congratulated by Peter Dein after a strong bowling performance against Valley last Saturday.
WELL DONE, MATE: The Scorchers’ Paul Cash, centre, is congratulated by Peter Dein after a strong bowling performance against Valley last Saturday. Warren Lynam

CRICKET: Sunshine Coast paceman Ashley Renouf is keen to see his side mount a late but lively bid for a finals berth in the XXXX Gold Premier Grade two-day format.

The Scorchers are 11th of 12 teams in the two-day standings and 10th on the main ladder for combined formats, but Renouf believes his team is in good touch and poised to make an impact in the final four rounds.

The Coast side is well placed midway through its two-day clash with eighth-placed Valley at Buderim and will follow up with clashes against seventh-placed Wests (away game for Scorchers), ninth-placed Wynnum (home) and 11th-placed Redlands (away).

"We could make a push for the semi-finals," Renouf said. "It's going to be tough because we'd have to win all four comprehensively and we're hoping other results go our way to make it, but we're still in with a shot."

He also believed it was important to finish a "rebuilding season" in strong fashion so that the club was well placed for next summer's campaign.

"Mainly we're just looking to see how we go for the rest of this season to push on to next season," Renouf said.

"We've had a lot of changes at the club this year. We've had some players who are coming through and now we've got a lot of depth at the club at the moment, which is good to see."

The Scorchers are primed to secure rare first-innings points at Buderim today after restricting Valley to just 108 last week. In reply, the hosts are 3-91.

"It's a good spot to be in finally," Renouf said.

"We've actually still got to go ahead with it, but hopefully we'll put another 30 runs on and then get a lead and then we will hopefully get them out cheaply again."

Renouf - 1-28 last weekend - boasts an average of 23.89 this campaign, but has been hampered by a hamstring injury and a recurring knee problem.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "I bowled well last week but was just a bit unlucky. Instead of being one-for, I could have been three or four-for. I want to be one of the main bowlers in this team."

The Scorchers will today welcome back young gun James Bazley, who has been on representative duty for the Queensland side at the Australian under-19 championships. All-rounder Bazley had an impressive bowling average of 19.75 at the tournament and took 3-43 against New South Wales, but last year's champions could finish only seventh.

Matt Gale is unavailable as he is on standby for the Brisbane Heat's Big Bash League final clash against Perth tonight.

GAME DAY

SUNSHINE COAST v VALLEY

Today, Buderim, 10.30am



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