It is hard for a cricket team to be successful without a solid pair of hands behind the stumps.

This weekend, in the Bay of Plenty Cup, two of the competition's best wicketkeepers will go head-to-head when Carrus Mount Maunganui meet New World Te Puke at Fergusson Park.

Te Puke keeper Blair McKenzie and Mount Maunganui's Ben Pomare both made their Bay of Plenty senior representative debuts last season, sharing the wicketkeeping duties after the retirement of long-serving keeper Tim Clarke.

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Both players have had a big start to the current season. Pomare earned selection for the New Zealand Under-19 team, who played their Bangladesh counterparts in a five-game series in Canterbury last month.

Last weekend, McKenzie anchored Te Puke's victory over Bond & Co Tauranga Boys' College, scoring 109 runs in a patient innings of 144 balls. His early-season three-figure score adds to back-to-back centuries last season.

Meanwhile, Bayleys Central Indians, who have slipped off the pace after a scintillating start to the Bay of Plenty Cup, will want to get their semifinal prospects back on track against Generation Homes Lake Taupō at Smallbone Park.

The Lake Taupō side can be well pleased with their season so far after joining the Baywide ranks last year. Two wins and competitive matches against the Western Bay heavyweights suggest the Great Lakes representatives have learned many lessons from their first season.

Premium gold

Element IMF Cadets will be heavily favoured to defeat Geyser City at Cadets' headquarters at the Tauranga Domain. The Rotorua-based Bay of Plenty Cup new recruits sit at the bottom of the standings and are going through a similar learning curve to Lake Taupō last season.

There have been a number of individual performances by Geyser City players to give the side optimism. Sam Kershaw sits in second place in the batting stakes, while Satpal Singh took a four-wicket bag against competition leaders Greerton.

Bay of Plenty Cup frontrunners Eves Realty Greerton will put their unbeaten start to the season on the line when Tauranga Boys' College pay a visit to Pemberton Park. The encounter will have an additional edge with the Western Bay of Plenty Challenge prize, the Baker Cup, at stake.

Bay of Plenty Cup Draw - November 9


Central Indians v Lake Taupō, Smallbone Park; Greerton v Tauranga Boys' College; Pemberton Park; Te Puke v Mount Maunganui, Fergusson 3; Cadets v Geyser City; Tauranga Domain.

Points Table
Greerton 35, Te Puke 29, Mount Maunganui 26, Cadets 17, Central Indians 17, Lake Taupo CC 17, Tauranga Boys College 14, Geyser City 5.