Northern Counties are seeking their third straight NOSCA Senior League win as they travel to Nairn County on Saturday.
Counties, who were knocked out of the Senior Cup by Ross County last weekend, are determined to bounce back to maintain their 100% league start after home victories over Elgin and Ross County.
Their weekend hosts Nairn have won their only league contest so far against Elgin.
Batting issues addressed
Counties captain Shaun Thomas was happy that the side strengthened their batting displays after their first fixture.
He said: “In the Ross County game, we bowled and fielded really well. The batting was a little bit sloppy, although we still won by five wickets.
“In the Elgin game, we focused on batting our 45 overs, building up a good platform and going for it in the last 10 or 15. Our batting was certainly our strong point in that game.
“Bowling-wise, we probably gave them 60 runs too many at the start, but we managed to pull it back in the end. Their opening batsman batted really well.
“So, for us, there are certainly things to work on, but we have got to be happy with two wins from two in the league.
“This is our first away game, so we’re looking to make it three out of three. We are missing maybe one or two from what would be our strongest 11, but we still have a really good team ready for Nairn.
“We are expecting a competitive game, but we have plenty of confidence that we can go there and win.”
Thomas, meanwhile, described the match-day experience for cricketers in times of Covid.
He explained: “The main difference is Covid breaks every 15 overs, which is a sanitisation break. We don’t do teas any more, you bring your own lunch.
“On the pitch, not too much has changed and I think everyone is just glad to be back playing.”
In the only other contest this Saturday, Forres St Lawrence will be chasing their first win of the season when they head to Cooper Park to face Elgin.
Forres lost their opening game against Ross County a fortnight ago, while Elgin have lost their first two fixtures, against Nairn County and Northern Counties.
Forres and Ross County reach cup final
Last weekend, Forres St Lawrence booked their spot in the NOSCA Senior Cup final thanks to a win by five wickets at home to Elgin.
Ross County posted a comprehensive win against Northern Counties in the other semi-final and will take on Forres in the final on August 14.
This was also the last game for Counties’ Jamie Rodger, who is moving away for work reasons.
Forres only required one victory to reach the final after receiving a bye into the semis in a competition in which only six teams entered.