Absences could cost Wairarapa

By Gary Caffell


Cricket

Changes will be made to the composition of the Wairarapa senior men's cricket team to play Manawatu in a crucial Hawke Cup qualifying round match at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North, on Saturday but just how many remains to be seen.

Definitely out from the side which scored a comprehensive outright victory over Horowhenua-Kapiti at their latest appearance are gun all-rounder Dean van Deventer, who has returned to Christchurch, and young wicketkeeper Matt McKenzie, who has a previous commitment with Rathkeale College.

The loss of van Deventer, who starred with bat and ball against Horowhenua-Kapiti, is huge, for he provided much-needed zip to the Wairarapa pace attack. The most likely replacement for him is Greytown's Ben Foster, who might not have van Deventer's skill levels but is still a capable all-rounder. He has produced some handy efforts for Wairarapa in the past year or two.

The absence of McKenzie virtually guarantees regular Alex Treseder (Lansdowne) will take up the wicketkeeping gloves.

That's despite the fact Treseder had some good success with his spin bowling against Horowhenua-Kapiti and the Fitzherbert Park pitch has a habit of taking turn.

The odds are then that McKenzie's replacement will be a bowler and Red Star's Josh Mann has the club form to back his claims. Like Foster, he can wield a bat effectively as well.

Another Greytown player pushing hard for selection is promising medium pacer Quintin McKenna and if he does get the nod, then it could be clubmate Harry Greenwood who finds himself on the outer.

Choosing between them could be the most difficult poser for selectors Sam Curtis and Brian James, although there will be question marks over the retention of opening batsman Justin Herbert.

After some impressive club form for Wairarapa College, Herbert came into the team for the Horowhenua-Kapiti match and did not trouble the scorers in either of his knocks.

The likelihood, though, is that he will be given a second chance.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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