Net work pays dividends for Rupertswood

Rupertswood's Andrew Pizaro. Picture Shawn Smits.

By Tara Murray

Rupertswood’s focus on batting has paid off so far in the Gisborne and District Cricket Association Johnstone Shield Districts Firsts.

After struggling with the bat at times last season, Rupo spent a lot of the pre-season and early season working in the nets.

That dedication has paid off in most of their games and Saturday against Ashfield was another example.

Rupo was in trouble early at 5-35, before recovering to finish the day 9-237.

Rupo captain-coach Andrew Pizaro was more than thrilled with that performance.

“When you lose a couple of early wickets it never helps,” he said.

“We put together some good partnerships and we got ourselves out of trouble and were able to produce a really good score.

“On our ground, anything over 200 is a good score. I would have taken that score at the start of the day.”

It was Pizaro who was the standout with the bat, making 101.

He said while he was lucky, having given up a couple of chances that weren’t taken, he was rapt to hit 100.

While Pizaro was the dominant batsman, Rupo’s tail made sure they pushed the score past 200.

The skipper said they had an emphasis on picking bowlers who could also bat.

“A lot of our preparation was how we go about our batting,” he said.

“We pick bowlers at seven, eight and nine who are good with the bat as well.

“Individuals have worked on where they can improve and we spent a lot of the pre-season doing that.

“Once into the season, we’ve had a couple of different drills to try and work on our batting, especially against swing bowling.”

Jack Hudd. Picture Shawn Smits.

Photo Gallery: Rupertswood vs Ashfield 

Pizaro said they would still need to perform well with the ball next season.

Ashfield, which has also worked on it’s batting, is the only side to beat Rupertswood this season.

“They have some batsmen who can take the game away from you,” Pizaro said.

“Kingy [Jas King] is a good batsman and you have to be very watchful as he can change gears.

“They’ve got batsmen you have to be watchful of.

“We still need to try hard to do the basics and limit the bad balls, while backing up the field.

“If we do all of that and we’re not good enough to beat them, then so be it.”

A win would help Rupo cement its spot in the top two, ahead of the first T20 round in the final week before the Christmas break.

Pizaro said the good start, especially from their batsmen, set the season up.

In other matches, St Anthonys made 398 against Eynesbury Eagles.

Bacchus Marsh is in control against Gisborne, sitting at 1-46 in reply to 95.

East Sunbury made 264 against Riddell, with Josh Smith top scoring with 94.