Intra-state rivalry will be renewed at North Dalton Park in Wollongong next week when NSW Metro host ACT/NSW Country in the final round of the Toyota Futures League starting on Monday.
A win for ACT/NSW Country in the four-day fixture will secure it top spot on the ladder at the end of the competition. The Comets currently trail Queensland by more than two points in second place.
NSW Blues reserve wicketkeeper Jay Lenton rejoins the ACT/NSW Country squad as captain after fracturing his finger playing for the Sydney Thunder during the KFC Big Bash League.
Nick Bertus returns from a groin injury to captain NSW Metro. He is one of 11 Blues in its 12-man squad for the match including in-form speedster Liam Hatcher.
During the last round, Hatcher claimed career best figures in the Futures League and bowled his side to victory against Victoria. He returned the outstanding figures of 7-43 from 14.2 overs on the fourth and final day in a thrilling 10-run win.
Hatcher finished the match with 10-107. It was both his maiden five-wicket haul and first time he had taken 10 wickets in a match at the Futures League level.
He forms a potent pace line-up chosen for Metro. Fellow Blues pacemen Mickey Edwards, Charlie Stobo and Sheffield Shield debutant this season for NSW, left-arm seamer Daniel Sams, have all been selected.
Edwards and Stobo both claimed career best figures in McDonald’s NSW Premier Cricket over the last two Saturdays.
Stobo took 8-63 in a first innings loss to Fairfield-Liverpool, while Edwards collected 7-40 for Manly-Warringah during its first innings win over Eastern Suburbs.
Fast bowler Benji Floros, who is from the Tuggeranong Valley club in the ACT, is set to make his debut for ACT/NSW Country.
The right-arm quick hails from a prodigious cricketing family, that includes brother Jason, who previously captained Queensland and played 15 First Class matches for the Sunshine State between 2011 and 2017.
Along with his two brothers, Matthew and Tim, Benji Floros has also represented Australia at Indoor Cricket.
Floros this week travelled to Adelaide with his club Tuggeranong Valley for the inaugural Fox Cricket National Premier T20 Championships, where Sutherland made the semi-finals.
Blues, Sydney Sixers and NSW Metro leg-spinner Daniel Fallins and ACT/NSW Country paceman Tom Pinson both represented Sutherland at the tournament.
ACT/NSW Country duo of allrounder Hayden Kerr and paceman Joe Kershaw represented the other Sydney club that qualified for the championships, Sydney University.
Comets opening batsman Henry Hunt played for the Northern Territory City Cyclones at the inaugural tournament.
Hunt was part of the Cyclones team that won the NT Strike League in July, 2018. He is currently the leading run-scorer across the T20 and four-day formats in the Futures League this season with 655 runs to his name at 46.79.
Nick BERTUS ( c )
Jay LENTON ( c )