Country Wests skipper Mat Fleming has called on his troops to show some ticker ahead of this weekend’s match against Waves.
Country Wests skipper Mat Fleming has called on his troops to show some ticker ahead of this weekend’s match against Waves.

Flemo says its time to man up

Captain of the struggling Country Wests Panthers Mat Fleming has slammed his players for showing a lack of heart this season, and demanded his side toughen up or give up this weekend against Waves.

“There has just been no ticker. It’s like playing with a bunch of kids,” Fleming said.

“We need to value our wicket and show some pride in our colours.”

His team slumped to an outright loss against Brothers last week, barely able to rake in the 84-run first-innings margin in another miserable batting performance.

“We just need to dig in and show some patience, make the bowlers adjust to us and adapt to this two-day cricket,” he said.

The outspoken skipper said it was time to show Brothers and Waves that his boys could play decent cricket, and they were not just there to make up the numbers.

“We know in ourselves that we can be competitive,” he said.

“We won the Twenty20 and we have blokes with bat and ball that can do the job.

“We just need that application now.”

Panthers batsmen Phil Proctor and Steve Nichols are first and second in runs scored this season with 332 and 291 respectively, while Scott Irwin and Trav Henke trail closely. But their performances have often been lone hands, while the rest of team falters around them.

“We need to bat as a group, build a few partnerships and we’ll be in with a show,” Fleming said.

“Last innings we had against Waves (7-267 dec) we showed them we could bat, so we’re hoping for more of the same.”

Their bowling stocks have suffered a major setback, however, with premier quick Andrew Gear fracturing his finger during a training drill on Tuesday night.

His experience with the new ball is invaluable for Wests, and he seemed to be hitting his stride last week and was posing problems for Brothers batsmen.

“It will make it tougher without Geary, and he’ll be gone for at least a few weeks, but we have new bloke Nathan Wiley coming in so it will be a good test for him,” Fleming said.

The match will be played on Saturday and Sunday, meaning bowlers will get use of a genuine second-day pitch, something Waves off-spinner Chris Duff will lick his lips at.


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