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Pitching to rain gods to hold out

Try as it might, the weather looks set to fail in its bid to disrupt the New Year's Eve Twenty20 cricket Big Bash in Thuringowa.

A wash-out had looked a distinct possibility for the Queensland versus Victoria clash at Tony Ireland Stadium since the rain first started on Christmas night.

About 200m has fallen in the twin cities since Boxing Day, causing some areas in the North to flood.

However with the weather bureau predicting the sun to reappear today and stay out until at least mid-next week, Monday's domestic fixture is almost certain to go ahead.

That news was music to the ears of Queensland Cricket curator Ross Harris.

Harris has been battling the elements after he arrived in Townsville on Boxing Day, working with Tony Ireland Stadium ground staff to keep the pitch in prime batting condition.

The wicket as well as much of the square has been covered since Tuesday, with hessian cloth being placed on the pitch to absorb moisture.

When he spoke to the Townsville Bulletin yesterday, Harris was in the process of rolling the pitch something he plans to spend plenty of time doing over the weekend.

"My aim is to roll it as flat as possible so they (the batsmen) can hit through the ball and there is no movement," he said.

"All we have got to do now is roll and cover, roll and cover and keep it dry.

"We'll just keep rolling basically and hope that the sun comes out and bakes the pitch and then it will be a hard and dry wicket."

Despite the downpour, Harris was confident there would still be plenty of runs in the wicket.

While slightly behind in preparations, the curator of the Allan Border Field in Brisbane said the outfield had not retained any water.

"It's looking very good. I came here at 7.15 this morning and it was dry, the surface was wet but there was no water on it," Harris said.

"It's damp but the forecast is good. We're fine and hot for the next few days.

"I am still hopeful of seeing upwards of 200 runs scored (each innings), but then again, that depends on the batsmen."

Tickets for the first major event to be held at Thuringowa's state-of-the-art stadium are still available.

source - townsvillebulletin.com.au
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