The second part of the Rotorua cricket season gets under way tomorrow with the Indians and Central looking to make inroads into Taupo Wanderers' lead.
With the loss of the three college teams to the Baywide secondary school competition, the Rotorua Senior Reserve Grade competition has been turned into a round robin of four rounds.
Sitting on 24 points, the Wanderers have had a slow start to the season, but appear to be coming into form at just the right time. The side can struggle at times when playing away from their fortress at Owen Delany but this tends to be more because of player availability rather than an away game. Teams who travel to Taupo find the home side are a formidable opponent who can make a side pay.
Central, at 18 points, are on a high after winning the T20 tournament. For many of the players in the young side it was their first taste of winning a tournament and, as their captain told The Daily Post recently, they savoured the victory and wanted more. The side has a strong top to middle order but once you get to their tail, it can be rather brittle.
They enjoy setting a total secure in the knowledge if their side scores a reasonable total, their bowling attack can defend it.
Geyser, on 6 points, who take on Central tomorrow, have struggled to find the right formula winning only one from five this season. But the side are better than the points table suggest, lead by Karl McKnight who is a solid batsman. The side has the potential and if they can secure the services of the Perham boys, which they managed for the T20, they could be the team to really watch out for over the coming weeks.
The Indians, on 18 points, are the side who've gone about their business almost under the radar. Having won three, lost one and defaulted one (because their players were used for the prem team), they could have been sharing the lead with the Wanderers.
Indians host the Wanderers at Ray Boord Park tomorrow and will fancy their chances. They will need inspirational captain Sunil Bist to lead the way. His side play with a lot of emotion and if they sense they're getting on top of a team are quick to capitalise and usually go for the jugular.
Both games are to be played at Ray Boord Park at 12.30pm, the MetService predicting showers with light winds and a high of 26C.
Draw for January 12: Central v Geyser; Indians v Taupo Wanderers.