The Campbelltown Camden-Ghosts will have a tough task ahead of them chasing more than 360 runs against the Sydney Cricket Club this weekend.
The visitors racked up a total of 9/363 at Raby cricket ground in round three of the NSW Premier Cricket competition on Saturday.
Ghosts skipper Jarrad Burke lost the toss in overcast yet ideal batting conditions, and the Sydney side headed to the crease.
Sydney achieved their massive total from 96 overs as the Ghosts bowlers toiled against the classy opposing top order.
Whilst the Sydney batsmen entertained for the first half of the day, losing their second wicket at 171 and their third at 245, the Ghosts bowlers hung in there and restricted Sydney from what should have been a much larger score.
Burke continued his recent strong form finishing with 4/80 from 26 overs, bringing his total from the first three rounds to 14 wickets.
Debutante wicket-keeper Ollie Pope, fresh from the Surrey cricket club in England, displayed his skills taking a sharp stumping off Burke and a nice catch, diving a long way down to his right to dismiss the Sydney skipper off the bowling of Sam Skelly.
Ghosts bowlers looked sharp early, with fast-bowling all-rounder Luke Webb taking 2/71 off 18.
Pope said of Webb’s bowling, “the Aussie pitches are good for a keeper, I can stand a little further back”.
Recently selected NSW under-19s bowler Iain Carlisle and Skelly hit the pitch hard, with Carlisle going for a little more than two runs per over, and each of the young bowlers taking a wicket.
Captain Burke remained positive after the first day, buoyed by the Ghosts recent chase-down the Fairfield-Liverpool Lions’ total of 378 runs the previous Saturday.
Should day two’s conditions mirror day one, Pope’s ability with the bat is expected to strength the Ghosts’ top order.
The match will continue at Raby on this Saturday, October 21, at 10am.