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Orions plan to take game to new level

THERE have been good wins against the best North-West country teams in the lead-up.

MIDDLED IT: Top order batsman Miles Barnard will need to do plenty of this if Devonport is to triumph against South Hobart-Sandy Bay in today’s Statewide T20 grand final. Picture: Jason Hollister.

But Devonport coach Stephen Lee knows his team will have to raise the bar again if they are to topple Southern powerhouse South Hobart Sandy Bay in this afternoon’s Statewide Twenty20 grand final.

The Orions are competing in their first major statewide final for many years, and Lee says his team will have to contend with a higher level of batting, bowling and fielding than what they have so far this campaign.

“We are probably going to need 130-140 with the bat just to be competitive as the Sharks bat pretty well,” Lee said.

“Everyone of them will be fairly aggressive when they bat, and I’m sure they will try and pressure our bowlers.”

“They’ll also bowl a better line and length than what we are generally used to, but with the ball coming on to bat quicker, it should suit our top order because they like to hit through the line.

“Obviously we will be underdogs but we’re okay with that.”

South Hobart Sandy Bay won’t be at full strength for today’s game, with George Bailey and Xavier Doherty with the Australian World Cup team, while Alex Doolan will be in transit after Tasmania’s Sheffield Shield loss in Sydney.

But they are still full of class players, such as former Latrobe batsman Trent Keep, who is coming off a big century in club cricket yesterday, and Tigers contract players Timm van der Gugten, Gabe Bell and Hamish Kingston.

The Orions also have a close connection with their opponents, having supplied them with 10 first grade players over the past two decades. Lee said a little bit of inside knowledge could come in handy, but is backing his team to perform on the big stage.

“But our top order is our key, with Miles Barnard and Brent Mullett our two best players.”

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