Cricket: Aucklanders need to stay in touch with pacesetters by beating CD

By David Leggat

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

It's far from panic stations but Auckland will recognise the importance of staying close to the T20 pacesetters when they face bottom side Central Districts in New Plymouth today.

Having been comprehensively beaten by Otago in Alexandra on Friday, Auckland sit fourth on the HRV Cup ladder - the round-robin winners go automatically into the final, teams two and three play off - and can't let the gap widen too much.

They had a batting tumble against defending champions Otago, falling from 91 for three to 119 for nine, or six for 28 in 38 balls. Once Neil Broom and Hamish Rutherford put on 99 in 12.3 overs for the first wicket it was all over.

Auckland have added Takapuna player Jono Sole to their squad for today.

CD have been doing it tough again in the HRV Cup. Last in 2012-13, they trail the field again this time, after three losses and one washout.

They have a run of four straight games on the picturesque postage stamp ground at Pukekura Park. Plenty of time to boost the six-hitting percentage, but manager and former longtime CD seamer Lance Hamilton has something else on his mind - "I'd settle for a W [win]," he said.

"We just need to get one across the line. But it's not crisis point."

CD have added international seamer Doug Bracewell to their squad. He has recovered from a groin injury which counted him out of contention for the third test against the West Indies just before Christmas.

Yesterday's match between Otago and Wellington at the Basin Reserve was abandoned without a ball bowled, denying the Volts a chance to claim top spot on their own.

Points: Northern Districts 16 (five games), Otago 16 (six), Wellington 12 (six), Auckland 8 (four), Canterbury 6 (five), CD 2 (four).

New Plymouth, today, 4pm

CD (from): Kieran Noema-Barnett (c), Jamie How, Peter Trego, Josh Cobb, Carl Cachopa, Kruger van Wyk, Will Young, Jacob Oram, Doug Bracewell, Bevan Small, Ben Wheeler, Marty Kain, Tarun Nethula.

Auckland (from): Gareth Hopkins (c), Jeet Raval, Chris Nash, Anaru Kitchen, Craig Cachopa, Colin de Grandhomme, Jono Sole, Donovan Grobbelaar, Bruce Martin, James Fuller, Michael Bates, Matt Quinn, Lockie Ferguson.

- NZ Herald

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