Joshua Clarkson wasn't too impressed with his Super Smash Twenty20 campaign after the Central Districts Stags bowed out of the grand final a fortnight ago.

Instead of beating himself up, Clarkson, who turned 21 two Sundays ago, decided to do something about it.

But the Auckland Aces found out too late last Saturday, when Clarkson got willow happy for a maiden 2017-18 ton (103 runs from 95 balls) as CD walloped the hosts by 123 runs at Colin Maiden Oval.

"I missed out so it's good to catch up now, I guess," said the Nelson allrounder, who joined his captain and century maker William Young to release some pent-up frustrations when the one-day Ford Trophy campaign resumed last Saturday.

Advertisement

Tomorrow the Heinrich Malan-coached, table-topping Stags host defending champions Canterbury Kings, who are coming off an eight-wicket victory over the Otago Volts, at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North, in round five.

The million-dollar question is what didn't work for Clarkson in the Burger King-sponsored T20 stint although the prudent may well argue that if the Stags had a silver bullet they would have fired it long ago.

The middle-order batsman said he often found himself asking for middle and leg in different situations to what he was accustomed to in previous summers.

"Usually I go in there when the team's going pretty well so I'd just have to go out there and smash it, but this year I had to build partnerships to get the ball rolling a little bit and that took more time on the crease."

The disappointment of losing back-to-back T20 grand finals aside, Clarkson said he actually enjoyed coming outside his comfort zone to employ different tactics to broaden his horizon.

"Now I'm definitely going to try to make up for it," he said somewhat ominously.

Clarkson, who made his domestic limited-overs debut against the Kings in Napier on December 25, 2015, said the gut-wrenching T20 grand final defeat to the Wellington Firebirds in New Plymouth last year had helped them immensely in ensuring their attitude didn't take a hiding this year.

"Everyone called it the hangover effect last year when we headed into the one-day campaign before we took quite a while to start again."

Advertisement

This time they were on the top of the table after three rounds and the tribe had spoken: "Just push the T20 aside and get on with it."

Clarkson said the manner in which CD threw down the gauntlet to the Aces reflected the collective character.

"It's never easy because you always want to win finals and that was what was said in the changing rooms after the final but you've just got to move on.

"We're a young team so there's a lot more in the legs of the boys, I guess."

The Stags' raw make up, he emphasised, was reflected in embarking on a summer devoid of overseas imports.

He and Young didn't just resort to CD's "natural game" of going after the leather from ball one but ticked it over at a run a ball, mindful they could catch up in the death overs.

"Will and I put up an awesome partnership and then cashed in at the back end."

The "Big Smoke" of Palmy North should turn on the weather against "another team" because to be the best meant beating the rest, Clarkson said.

He echoed the sentiments of part-time coach and former international Jacob Oram that depth in the squad meant it was difficult to say if CD's strength lay in their batting or bowling.

With Seth Rance, Ben Wheeler and Tom Bruce in the T20 Black Caps squad announced for the Australian series Clarkson didn't expect any dramas because the Stags had the depth to fill the vacuum.


CD Stags: William Young (c, Taranaki), Joshua Clarkson (Nelson), Dane Cleaver (w, Manawatu), Adam Milne (Manawatu), Ajaz Patel (HB), Seth Rance (Wairarapa), Jesse Ryder (HB), Bevan Small (Manawatu), Ben Smith (Whanganui), Blair Tickner (HB), George Worker (Manawatu).

Coach: Heinrich Malan.
Team manager: Lance Hamilton.

Canterbury Kings: Chad Bowes, Matthew Pollard, Todd Astle, Cameron Fletcher (wkt), Cole McConchie (c), Tim Johnston, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Ed Nuttall, Kyle Jamieson, William Williams.