WAUCHOPE RSL will face its toughest test of the Mid North Coast Premier Cricket League at Andrews Park on Saturday.
Undefeated Taree United travel west of the Pacific Highway to clash with a Wauchope side who will be without star opening bowler Matt Miller.
Wauchope captain Matt Day admitted he would look to left-arm spinner Bailey Smith, along with Aaron Hagenbach and Tony Brown to help fill the void.
“Without Matty Miller it’s going to be a big test for us, but it just means someone else will have to step up,” Day said.
The captain was confident opening batsman Nathan Lyon was due to cash in on an early season dominated by starts.
“He got 30-odd again last week and then got himself out,” Day said.
“I’d love to tell you what’s missing with Nath, but he’s quite hard on himself and we’re working on that.
“He’s not far away from making a big score – it may not be this week, but it’ll be soon.
Without Matty Miller it’s going to be a big test for us, but it just means someone else will have to step up.Wauchope RSL captain Matt Day
“It’s just not working for him at the moment, but he’s got the ability.”
Without the benefit of having Miller to help defend a target, Day felt his team would need to score at about five an over if they were to bat first.
“We’ll need 180-200 to be competitive against United because they’re one of the better sides in the competition,” he said.
“Last week the top order stood up and got us off to a good start and then three, four and five continued it.
“We’re just waiting for Jase to click and score some runs.”
Day could also have a role to play in the absence of Miller.
“I’m going okay without setting the world on fire,” he said.
They were on track for an imposing target last week when rain washed out the clash with Pirates.
When the heavens opened, Wauchope were 5-173 in the 32nd over.
It is currently on a three-game undefeated run following its opening round defeat to Macquarie Hotel.
We’ll need 180-200 to be competitive against United because they’re one of the better sides in the competition.Matt Day
Macquarie Hotel and Port City Leagues Magpies are on the road this weekend, while Pirates have the bye.
Magpies travel to South Kempsey Oval and a clash with Nulla, while the Macca are also heading to Kempsey and a clash with Rovers at Kempsey Golf Club.
Rovers are still searching for its first win of the season and Macquarie captain Josh Hyde remained wary.
“They’ve been rolled a few times and don’t think they’ve played any of the top sides as yet,” he said.
“They’re a young side with a few handy players like Jackson Korn and Jarrod Prosper.”
Macquarie will be almost at full-strength with Liam Coelho and Sam Dwyer to return, while Tom Solder will be better for his first game last week.
First ball for all matches is at 1.30pm.