The last remaining spot in the finals of the Plan B Regional Bash will be up for grabs this weekend when the four teams in the Wagga Wagga Pool vie for top spot in their group to progress.
The ACT Aces, Murrumbidgee Rangers, Border Bullets and Wagga Wagga Sloggers will fight for that final place on finals day. Robertson and McPherson Oval in Wagga Wagga will host the six matches in the pool this Saturday and Sunday, including a match under lights on Saturday night between fierce rivals the Sloggers and the Bullets.
The winner of the Wagga Wagga Pool will meet the Central West Wranglers in the Thunder Conference Final on finals day, after the Wranglers progressed from the Bathurst Pool last weekend.
The victor of the Sixers Conference Final between the Coffs Coast Chargers and Central Coast Rush will then meet the winner of the Thunder Conference decider in the playoff to become Plan B Regional Bash Champions.
If the Aces or Rangers claim the Wagga Wagga Pool this weekend it will mean four new teams on finals day.
Indian allrounder Sahib Malhotra will bring an International flavour to the Plan B Regional Bash this weekend. The big-hitting batsman and whippy leg-spinner, who has played premier club cricket in India, will be a key player for the Bullets.
Malhotra played alongside a young Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc for an Australian Institute of Sport XI against an emerging Indian squad in 2010.
The Bullets will have international representation both on and off the field. Their coach is former New Zealand Test fast bowler, Daryl Tuffey.
NSW Country fast bowler Cameron Suidgeest will be a prime weapon for the Bullets this weekend. During a victorious Australian Country Cricket Championships for the Bush Blues in January, he was the leading wicket taker in that tournament with 20 scalps to his name at an average of just 10.4.
Suidgeest played five matches for ACT/NSW Country in the Futures League last season. He claimed six wickets.
Former Sydney Thunder allrounder in the Big Bash League, Blake Dean, will feature for the Aces in their quest to make the finals for the first time.
Dean played his only match in the BBL on 21 December 2013. He claimed 1-29 on debut.
The multi-talented allrounder, who can bowl and bat left and right-handed, has made eight appearances for ACT/NSW Country in the Toyota Futures League. Dean will be joined by captain of the Aces and former NSW Country representative, Ethan Bartlett, in the ACT squad.
Bartlett claimed 4-17 from 2.5 overs in his only match during the Plan B Regional Bash last season against the South Coast Crew.
The Sloggers progressed to the finals of the competition last season where they were defeated by finalists the Orana Outlaws.
Powerful batsman Alex Smeeth, who likes to deal in boundaries, and opening batter Braydon Ambler, will both be key to the prospects of Wagga Wagga again progressing to finals day.
Another big hitter, Allan Edis for the Rangers, was the leading run-scorer for Murrumbidgee during the Plan B Regional Bash last season. He posted 121 runs at 40.3 including a highest score of 55.
Along with experienced Murrumbidgee captain, Theo Valeri, Edis will be central to the Rangers’ hopes of progressing to the deciding matches of the tournament in December.