NSW Country take command at national cricket titles

CRICKET

NSW Country will be in a commanding position when their round one clash with Victoria at the Australian Country Championships continues in Canberra today.

NSW finished at 7-321 yesterday after skipper Graeme Batty won the toss and elected to bat on a good pitch.

The Keira opener said his side was confident of defending the hefty total when play resumes this morning.

"We won the toss on a pretty flattish sort of wicket," he said.

"It was actually a bit up and down early but we made it through the first hour pretty much unscathed.

"We put on 60 for the first wicket and then it flattened out so we were set up pretty well.

"The outfield's a bit slowish but we thought we could get 320-350 and not many sides can chase that.

"The way we selected the side it's a pretty stacked batting line-up but we needed to put a pretty competitive score up because the Vics have got a pretty good batting line-up as well."

Opening with Jeff Goninan, Batty posted 34 before falling to Brad Scott.

Goninan fell 10 minutes later, also to the bowling of Scott, bringing together Greg Hunt and Mark Littlewood for the key partnership of the innings.

They added 164 runs before Hunt was caught off Cameron Wheeler. Littlewood went on to make 96 before before being caught off Scott.

"They're our two most experienced players," Batty said.

"Greg's played Sydney first grade for the past 15 years so he's excellent at number four.

"Mark Littlewood got picked up this year for the Sydney Thunder so he's in great form as well."

Batty expects the pitch to offer something for the bowlers today.

"We've got a pretty flexible bowling order," he said.

"We've got a couple of good quicks but we've also got three really good spinners and the wicket's taking a little bit of turn so it's set up pretty well for them."

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