The second day of Haisman Shield round seven proceedings arrives tomorrow across the Cricket Shepparton region.
Long stints at the crease will be in order for all chasing sides if they are to secure victory, with more than 200 runs required for success in each of the six matches.
News sports reporters Tyler Maher, Alex Mitchell and Aydin Payne run the rule over the clashes.
NORTHERNERS V MOOROOPNA
An imposing total stands between the Northerners and success tomorrow when Haisman Shield round seven action resumes at Tallygaroopna Recreation Reserve.
The Jets need 278 runs to claim first-innings points against Mooroopna in a crucial clash, with the victor set to rocket into the upper echelon of the table.
Both outfits are just six points from second spot, but hold just that advantage over Old Students in eighth.
Brodie McDonald's 74 from 152 deliveries provided the backbone of Mooroopna's innings last week, with Shoaib Shaikh (65 from 110), Jake Wright (42 from 38) and Brad Lowe (39 from 56) also contributing heavily at the crease.
Joel Brett's 4-49 led the charge for the Jets with the ball as Ryan Sidebottom (2-26) and Zane Newbound (2-57) also snared multiple wickets.
With the bat the Jets will need to produce comfortably their best effort of the season, with round five's 9-207 the high watermark of their campaign.
Only three of the side's batsmen have run tallies in the triple figures, with skipper Mitch Brett (146 at 29.2) leading the way.
The Cats will look to import Henry Barrow (16 wickets at 12.69) and tweaker Simon D'Elia (10 at 11.7) for breakthroughs with the ball.
KATANDRA V EUROA
The carrot of a trio of consecutive Haisman Shield victories will be dangling in front of Euroa's batsmen at Katandra Recreation Reserve tomorrow.
The Magpies need 219 more runs to triumph against Katandra after dismissing the home side for 223 last week and reaching five without loss at stumps.
Captain Sean Hemeter is keen to see his charges knuckle down and get the job done in order to keep the current momentum surrounding the club rolling.
“There's been lots of hard work involved, but there's still a long way to go in the season,” Hemeter said.
“There are certainly improvements there and it's nice to get a couple of wins under the belt.
“You've ust got to take your time, the pitch is playing pretty well once you get in, so you've just got to make hay while the sun shines when you do get in.
“If the openers can get off to a good start and build a platform we'll be in a good position.
“We'll keep our eye on the game and not get ahead of ourselves, but if we can pull this win off heading into the last one-dayer before Christmas it would be brilliant to be up in the mid-table (of the ladder).”
Declan Redfern and Josh Robertson negotiated four overs at the crease on day one and will resume their respective knocks tomorrow, with Sham Dadallage (5-58), Mahesh Priyadarshana (3-33) and Riley Dowell (1-31) impressing for the Magpies with the ball.
“Shammy has been bowling really well, he put in a big shift of about 20 overs and that's his job,” Hemeter said.
“Riley was super impressive, he bowled without a lot of luck and was the pick of the bowlers behind Sham.”
Corey Hickford (43 from 53 deliveries) and Scott Richardson (38 from 155) top-scored with contrasting efforts for the Eagles on day one and will again be crucial to their side's chances of victory with ball in hand.
NUMURKAH v NAGAMBIE
A whopping run chase will be required if Nagambie is to keep its unbeaten start to the Haisman Shield going against Numurkah tomorrow.
Set 8-309 for victory by the Blues last weekend, the biggest chase in the Haisman's MyCricket database (which begins at the start of the 2003-04 season) will be needed for the Lakers to once again taste victory.
The previous mark is held by Central Park-St Brendan's, which tracked down 7-297 with 9-300 in round 14 of the 2006-07 season — which eerily also came against Numurkah.
But if there is one team that could achieve this near-impossible task, perhaps it is Nagambie, which has already chased Mooroopna's 242 successfully this season.
Mark Nolan made 71 that day and he is undoubtedly the key, his 357 runs at 89.3 this season having him well on track for a career-high.
Brother Luke has 238 runs at 39.7, while a score from opener Ricky Misiti (151 at 25.2) will be important.
For Numurkah, 80 overs to take 10 wickets is the perfect situation for its plan A — death by strangulation — with its four spinners to go to work.
“We expect them to go hard and have a crack, they won't die wondering,” Numurkah captain Liam Gledhill said.
“They've got the couple of Nolan boys there, they're a little bit different in style probably but both super impressive, and they will be two key wickets.
“Everyone knows what the plan is for us, we've got the two quicks and four spinners, so it's pretty self-explanatory. We're looking forward to it, it's just good to be back out there playing a bit of two-day cricket which is what we love playing most.”
CENTRAL PARK-ST BRENDAN'S v KYABRAM
Central Park-St Brendan's will need to take its chasing form up a few levels if it is to beat Kyabram at Central Park tomorrow.
Set 204 for victory, the Tigers have fallen short in all four of their run chases this season, while perhaps coincidentally winning both matches where they batted first.
In six bats this season the Tigers have had five different top-scorers and, while that potentially illustrates batting depth, the side is crying out for a star batsman to regularly take control of an innings and put big scores together.
Opener Connor Holland has been their most consistent bat this season with 178 runs at 29.7, but Andrew Lloyd (137 at 27.4) and Jack McCarten (119 at 19.8) are the only other Tigers past the 100-run mark this season.
Captain Brendan Scott, who belted 61 in his last dig against Old Students, also looms as a key to victory.
For Kyabram, it will be looking to repeat the second-day heroics it produced against Tatura last round, when it rolled it for 95 to seal first-innings points.
Charlie McLay led the way that day with a ripping 4-18 to take his tally to eight at 12.3 for the season, while Jackson McLay's 10 wickets at 10.5 this campaign has him leading the Redbacks wicket-taking.
Jonathan Hipwell (eight wickets at 16.6) and Lukas Hanslow (seven at 15.9) are also likely to be factors with the ball.
Victory for the third-ranked Redbacks would be another boost to their top-two chances, while the Tigers desperately need the win to stay in the hunt for finals.
KARRAMOMUS v WAAIA
Karramomus skipper Stuart Turner is confident his side has what it takes to defend its day one score against Waaia when play resumes tomorrow afternoon.
The Bloods’ score of 236 was their highest of the Haisman Shield season to date, with Mitch McGrath's standout knock of 70 the highlight of the day.
McGrath's half-century means Waaia's batting line-up must deter the ever-reliable bowler Jason Ibbotson and young quick Angus Heslin.
Speaking after his side's opening day effort, Turner said his side has what it takes to get the job done against the Bombers.
“We've just got to bowl in the right areas,” he said.
“I'm pretty confident that we can do that and hit the right spots and fingers crossed we get the job done.”
Waaia's Jordan Cleeland will lead from the front tomorrow with bat in hand, with the Bombers’ batsman the top-scorer this season with 134.
Looking at the numbers, the contest is set to go down to the wire with Waaia and Karramomus lacking in runs scored and runs defended.
Interestingly, Waaia is currently ranked second last in the Haisman Shield for runs scored, with the Bombers only managing 727 runs.
And Karramomus has a problem with leaking runs, with the Bloods second in the competition for most runs scored against with 1425.
But the home side has been potent with the cherry in hand, picking up a remarkable 58 scalps, the most wickets of any side in the competition and nine more than nearest rival Kyabram.
SHEPPARTON UNITED v OLD STUDENTS
A momentous task awaits Shepparton United tomorrow afternoon at Princess Park, with the home side left to chase Old Students’ formidable day one score.
Three dazzling half-centuries helped the Students post 7-267 from their 80 overs, with Callan McCabe (65), Nick Breslin (56) and Gino Saracino (55) starring in the first innings dig.
The trio's effort has left United batsman Keegan Armstrong needing to continue his flurry of runs with the willow.
The gun import has 246 runs for the season and is averaging 61.0 from his past four knocks.
But United has recent form on its side, with its 262 runs in round six coming against last year's grand finalist Katandra.
In that match Armstrong top-scored with a glorious 85-run knock, while talented all-rounder Rehan Bari chipped in with a sublime 65.
That duo will again be key to United's run chase tomorrow, with the two combining for almost half of United's runs this season.
And leading Old Students’ bowling attack is Liam Callegari, who has 10 scalps for the year with a strike rate of 23.4 from six matches.
While McCabe could cause further headaches for United tomorrow, with the Students quick picking up 10 wickets from his past three matches across all formats.