The big names are back, but the focus remains on the batting for the South Canterbury Hawke Cup team to face Mid Canterbury at Aorangi Oval on Saturday.

Coach Bruce Carlaw, assistant coach Robin Beeby and manager John Davies have named their strongest possible lineup for the dead rubber match.

Celtic’s Dan Laming, Craig Davies, Glenn Matthews and Sam Carlaw all return after missing the 10-wicket loss to Southland a week ago.

Celtic team-mate Jeremy Liddy was not picked because of injury, though he did hobble through the Tweedy Cup win over Timaru over the past two days.

Timaru’s Dhananjaya Murari retains his place from the Southland match, while Ben Watson is the unlucky fast bowler to miss out.

Captain Richie Preston, who was struck down by illness on the eve of the Southland match which did not allow him to travel to Invercargill, will also return.

Christchurch-based Ben McCord is unavailable because of other playing commitments

Bruce Carlaw said they wanted to remain committed to playing the best possible team despite there being no chance of a Hawke Cup challenge this season.

“When I used to play, I can’t remember ever playing for the [Hawke Cup] challenge.

“I just wanted to test myself against other provinces and I think this team is like that too.”

He said Murari had held his place thanks to the 77 he scored in the Tweedy Cup final against Celtic.

It was an innings Bruce Carlaw described as “impressive”.

South Canterbury could only muster 123 and 119 in their two efforts against Southland, and Bruce Carlaw said the coaching staff were aware the weakness was batting.

“We’re having to make sure we can bat down to No10.

“The top batsmen aren’t being pressurised at senior level, so when they make the step-up to Hawke Cup, they are finding it tough.

English import Tahir Afridi will again be used in an all-rounder role.

The left-arm seamer impressed with 69 in tough conditions against Southland a week ago.

He said they would try a Friday night training at the Blanchard Centre.

He said the 6.30pm training would be a lighter session than usual.

South Canterbury squad to face Mid Canterbury:

Richie Preston (c), Craig Davies, Bill Walsh, Dhananjaya Murari, Dan Laming, Glenn Matthews, Willie Wright (wk), Mark Tutton, Tahir Afridi, Sam Carlaw, Kevin Teahen, Craig Hinton.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This