Timaru is to host an under-16 zone cricket tournament, beginning on Monday.

South Canterbury will be one of eight teams from around the Canterbury and West Coast area that will vie to be named the best in the region, and push their claims for Canterbury age-group selection next year.

South Canterbury under-16 team coach Richard Davidson said he was confident of a strong performance, with captain Glen Drake and Roncalli College’s Tom Pavletich both playing senior cricket.

Drake will have plenty of company from his hometown of Waimate, with four players from the area making up the South Canterbury squad.

With the teams split in to two groups of four, Davidson was confident of a top-two finish, which would see the team qualify for the semifinals. Each team had three games before post-section play begins on Thursday.

He said that Timaru Boys’ High School batsman Michael Hogan would be handy with the wicket-keeping gloves, and offer a hard-hitting option with the bat.

The team also has a couple of leg-spin options, while Daniel Mehrtens and Levi McCoy should spearhead the attack.

South Canterbury concluded their three-match preparation for the tournament with a win over a Waimate selection last weekend.

They do have a six-run win over Canterbury Country, thanks to a pre-season win at Ashbury Park.

They will face the Country side first and it looms as an important match, with Davidson believing a win could be the difference between making the top two, or missing out.

The game will begin at 10am, at Aorangi Park.

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