Friday, February 6th, 2015

Worcs Opener Oliver Expects “no Walk In The Park” As Sharks Chase Victory

Worcs Opener Oliver Expects “no Walk In The Park” As Sharks Chase Victory

Worcestershire opener Richard Oliver is taking nothing for granted when Geelong City look to push for victory on the second day of their Geelong Cricket Association Division One match away to Lara tomorrow.

The Sharks topped 300 for the first time during Oliver's four years at the club on the opening day and closed on 303-9 with the 24-year-old leading the way with a season's best 121.

But Geelong skipper Oliver is aware of the benign nature of the pitch and fast outfields as his side look to enhance their chances of securing a spot in the finals for which the top six teams qualify.

He said: "We won the toss and batted on a 'bowling day'. It was windy, humid and it seemed like there was plenty of moisture in the wicket.

"But you can't really win the toss and bowl when you're away from home because you never know what the wicket might be like next week.

"We set about cautiously, not intentionally, but there was enough in the wicket. Once we saw off the first hour, it got easier by the over and we started to get into our stride.

"It was the first time the Sharks have passed 300 in any game since I have been at the club.

"But as a group, despite being quite content with the score and also pleased to see some notable performances, there was still a feeling that we had left a few runs out there, especially after the start we made (169-0).

"So the boys have been working hard at training this week to be on top form with the ball and in the field as we look to defend our score.

"It certainly won't be a walk in the park though. Lara is by far the quickest ground in the competition, especially after Christmas, and with a 36 degree day forecast for Saturday, you can guarantee there wont be many demons in the wicket!

"We also opted to play an extra batsman in this game so there is added pressure on my three main bowlers, Agg, Worthington and Marsland to continue their good form shown this season to date, with young spinner Inglis expected to bowl a lot of overs this week.

"Hopefully we can get the job done and consolidate our position in the top three."

Oliver is hoping to take inspiration from golfing pro and friend Jason Chellew when the Sharks take a break from action to stage their annual Golf Day on Sunday.

He said: "In news outside of cricket, a mate of mine, Jason Chellew from Perth, is in town to compete in the Victorian Open at 13th Beach Golf Links down the road.

"So the Sharks have got around him and I bought him down to my pathways academy to give a bit of an exhibition to the kids.

"He didn't disappoint and in a howling wind, he managed to drive three consecutive balls through each of the footy goal posts from 150 metres.

"I think I was more excited and impressed by having him around than the kids were, and we will all keep an eye on his progress this week in what is his first professional tournament.

"I have to say it was pretty awesome to watch for the average gofler with our annual club golf day coming up this Sunday. I am inspired!"