Wests paceman Peter Lojszczyk won’t be putting his hand up to takeover from James King for the rest of 2017-2018 but the stand-in skipper couldn’t be happier eyeing off an outright result while leading the team.
The Rosellas (4-146) are in front by 14 runs and have six wickets in hand approaching day two of their top-four encounter against Charlestown (132) at Kahibah Oval with Ben Evans set to resume on 82 not out.
Lojszczyk already has first-innings points in the bag even without the services of King, NSW Country all-rounder Joseph Price and at least three other regular first graders, but there could be more on offer for the Tom Locker Cup champions.
”We’re not putting too much pressure on ourselves to push for the outright,” Lojszczyk, the district’s second-leading wicket taker this season, said.
“We’ll try to bat the first session and then see how we go. If the game is there to go for the outright we will, but if not then we shut up shop and take the six points.
“It depends on what the pitch is like and the conditions are like, but if there’s an opportunity for 10 points than even better.”
Second-placed Wests (47) will have 90 overs available to plead a case for maximum points knowing they trail Newcastle district competition leaders Merewether (60) by 13, lead Charlestown (42) by five and sit level with City (47).
“It was one of those big, defining games for us after losing to City how we did [before Christmas],” Lojszczyk said.
“Bouncing back was the difference between being bottom of the four or being up in second place.”
As for a personal promotion, Lojszczyk simply laughed off captaining on a more permanent basis.
“I think we pulled one out of the bag there a little bit with six or seven out,” he said. “It was just one of those days where everything seemed to work.”
The Rosellas will also be buoyed by Thursday’s thrilling last-ball T20 victory in the NCC Summer Bash.
Elsewhere in round 10 fixtures on Saturday and ninth-placed Toronto (175) need only one Belmont (9-78) wicket to secure a third straight two-day win.
University resume at 2-12 fighting for finals against visiting title holders Hamwicks (267), Merewether (1-61) need 101 runs to reel in hosts Waratah (168), Wallsend are defending 235 versus City (1-31) and Cardiff (3-60) require 129 to beat Stockton (188).