THE under-18 girls national cricket championships start to draw to a close today, with the final round of preliminary matches before finals tomorrow.
Undefeated Victoria looks in a good position to take out the title and will be part of the playoff for first and second regardless of the result of today's clash with South Australia.
Cricket has been played in and around Ballarat during the past week, beginning last Wednesday during the intense heat wave.
The lead-up to the Ballarat Pacing Cup also heats up this week, with nominations for the big race closing today and the field to be declared tomorrow at 8.30am.
Champion pacer Smoken Up looms as a likely starter after his trainer Lance Justice declared him an 80-90 per cent chance of racing in the group 1 feature on Saturday night.
It is a big week for sports of many kinds in Ballarat, with the Victorian Country Track and Field Championships to be staged at Llanberris on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
These are also the days for the Ballarat District Golf Association's annual 54-hole tournament, conducted at Ballarat, Forest Resort and Midlands golf clubs.