Coach urges fighting spirit

By Gary Caffell


Cricket

The form book says Wairarapa are on a hiding to nothing in their Hawke Cup zone two qualifying round senior men's cricket match with Hawke's Bay at Napier tomorrow and Sunday.

Hawke's Bay are at the top of the competition table with 20 points, while Wairarapa are languishing in fifth place with two points and have only Horowhenua-Kapiti - who are yet to break their "duck" - behind them.

Little wonder then that coach Sam Curtis is somewhat restrained when you ask him the prospects of Wairarapa pulling off an upset win.

"I will be happy if we are competitive, if we fight hard over the two days," Curtis said. "Do that and you never know what will happen."

The Wairarapa camp are treating their last effort against Taranaki, when they were dismissed for a record low 34 in their first innings, as an aberration.

"You don't have to tell the players how poorly they did then, they know they let themselves down," Curtis said. "They have to show a lot more conviction this weekend and I am sure they will."

Past history suggests the Napier pitch will give some assistance to the bowlers in the first session of play and then flatten out and Curtis is not too fazed whether his side bats or bowls first.

"Whatever we do we have to back ourselves, that's the key. There's no room for second guessing."

Wairarapa will be expecting big things from medium pacers Stefan Hook-Sporry and Sean Jarvis who will probably share the new ball in the absence of the in-form Jarred Watt.

Hawke's Bay have several talented batsmen in their top order and they will be quick to capitalise on anything loose.

It will be important too for the Wairarapa cause that spinner Nash Patel maintains a decent line and length on what is likely to be a long stint at the bowling crease.

He has long shown promise and this is his chance to make a name for himself on the provincial scene.

In the batting department, the main onus will be on experienced top order players Tim Lucas, Henry Cameron, Joe Hull and Alex Treseder, all of whom are capable of scoring heavily at the higher level.

It is likely at least one of them will have to reach three figures if Wairarapa are to come away from this game on the right side of the ledger.

The full Wairarapa squad: Henry Cameron (captain), Tim Lucas, George Deans, Joe Hull, Harry Clinton-Baker, Alex Treseder, Ben Foster, Harry Greenwood, Nash Patel, Sean Jarvis, Jock Cameron, Stefan Hook-Sporry.

Matches in The Rock Twenty20 competition will continue on the club scene tomorrow, with Wairarapa College up against Lansdowne at Wairarapa College, Marist Old Boys up against Red Star, also at Wairarapa College, and Greytown and Kuranui Old Boys doing battle at Greytown.

The Wairarapa under-15s will be involved in their Central Districts tournament at Rathkeale College from December 17 to 20 and the Wairarapa under-17s likewise at Napier on the same days.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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