McDonald's Men's NSW Premier Cricket resumes on Saturday with two top-four clashes ensuring the heat is on from the very first ball.
Second-placed Manly-Warringah meet fourth-ranked Eastern Suburbs at Manly Oval while St George take on Fairfield-Liverpool in a 5 v 6 showdown at Rosedale Oval.
Eight other limited overs games will be staged across Sydney as Premier Cricket players emerge from a month-long Covid and Christmas-New Year break.
For Manly, it’s the chance to regain momentum after a flying start to the season.
Despite the Covid lockdown on the northern beaches, the Waratahs have named a strong line-up to take on Peter Nevill's Dolphins.
"We're missing a few lower grade players and a couple of support staff (due to the northern zone of the peninsula remaining in lockdown) and haven’t been able to train or holiday like we might have, but otherwise it hasn't been too bad," skipper Jay Lenton said.
"We've named the same side from our last game and take a fair a bit of confidence into this one.
"Easts are very strong, especially with Nev back with them during this period, but there's a lot of skill and experience in our group.
"This is one of the more important games of the season. We want to build on what we've done in the first half of the year."
Manly will be without BBL trio Ollie Davies, Jack Edwards and Stephen O'Keefe for the next three to four weeks, but Lenton is happy with the way his team has overcome their absence.
He said: "There's no doubt Ollie, SOK and Jack played a big part before they left and it will be great when we see them back.
"But I'm really happy with our depth and the way others have stood up in our last couple of games.
"Joel Foster got a big hundred, Izzy Vumbaca got a hundred, Ryan Hadley's bowling fast, Jake Carden's taking wickets and Elliott Herd's taking wickets.
"The perception is we're going well on the back of our big names – and they've certainly played a big part - but look closely at some of the performances of our other players and it shows you that depth that's now here."
Table leader Sydney University is at home to Penrith while winless UNSW v (Hawkesbury) and Blacktown Mounties (v Mosman) are both on the road.
Schedule and teams: click here
Live streamed matches: click here