Helensburgh captain Mitch McCrae is confident his side can spring an upset when they face University in a Cricket Illawarra Twenty20 semi-final.
After scraping into the finals following last week’s loss to Wollongong, the Tigers are looking forward to playing with the freedom that comes with the underdog status.
It’s that change of mindset that McCrae hopes will enable the side to overcome five-straight years of short-form finals heartbreak.
”We haven’t been going too well in the main competition, so it’s good to be part of the semi-finals,” McCrae said. “It was good to sneak in, we were lucky to get in after losing on Saturday.
“It will be a bit different to previous years where we’ve been going really well.
“In a sense, when you’re expected to win it, you probably don’t play with freedom because you think you should win and you don’t bat as well. Going into the game without too much pressure should be good for us.”
In defeating Helensburgh last week, Wollongong secured first in Pool A and a semi-final clash with Wests.
Wollongong’s victory came on the back of a quality first-innings bowling performance and McCrae understands his side will have to bat a lot better if they are to defeat Uni.
“They’ve got a good batting lineup and have good bowling depth with their medium pacers and spinners through the middle. Mitchell Hearn is a smart captain, so he will be a key player.
“We have to put in a pretty well-rounded game. We definitely need to improve with the bat, we need to be able to build partnerships.”