Key clashes to sort out top and bottom

By Greg Taipari,

The Rotorua Senior Reserves 40 Series round will have a definite leader and a team at the bottom of the table after today's play.

In the bottom of the table clash Twenty20 champions Central take on Bay of Plenty Indians and, with the MetService predicting fine weather with a southeasterly breeze, Ray Boord Park is expected to be a real belter.

It will be important to win the toss. The pitch over the last couple of weeks has seen the new ball seam around early but once it gets some sun on it tends to flatten out, making it a batsmen's dream.

It would be fair to say Central's batting lineup has struggled over recent weeks with their top order struggling to get partnerships going. The side is vulnerable if the tail is exposed and it would be a smart captain's choice to send the side in to bat if he is confident his bowling attack can take early wickets.

However, the risk is that Central have some quality top order batsmen and if they get going can cause havoc. The Downs brothers, Johnny and Richard, are big hitters and joined by Shayde Perham make a lethal combination. They also have allrounder Ben Fraser and top order batsman Dave Hunt, who know how to build an innings.

But the side will be without No1 bowler John Collier who is unavailable.

The Indians can count themselves unlucky over the past two weeks. The first round saw them lose a nail-biter against the Taupo Wanderers, then get belted by Geyser City last weekend. It just seems a matter of time before they turn their form around.

In a clash of the leaders, Taupo go up against Geyser who have been running hot the last two weeks. Led by Karl McKnight, Geyser have built their innings around their top order who have worked well together, scoring totals their bowlers have managed to defend. Their bowling attack has been led by Matthew Collier who has had two five-wicket bags.

Taupo are another team in a rich vein of form and will be looking to continue their run. The side has struggled in recent weeks to field a playing XI when travelling to Rotorua.

Senior reserve grade draw:

Central v Bay of Plenty Indians; Geyser City v Taupo Wanderers, all matches start at 12.30pm at Ray Boord Park.


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