No one in the Central Districts Stags enclave knows about change more than perhaps wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver.

When he crouches behind the stumps and offers his yawning gloves, Cleaver signals to the bowlers to reach for their bag of variables in trying to dismiss opposition batsmen.

But while such alterations, including field placements, he may suggest to captain William Young or the bowlers are pivotal, the Manawatu cricketer is blissfully aware it isn't strange to mistake changes for progress in the bigger picture to eke out a crucial victory.

Cleaver, who turned 26 on New Year's Day, says CD are in their second grand final of the three-format campaign this summer but there shouldn't be a burning desire to change anything.


"We have been playing solid cricket and putting up good performances on the board. I don't think anything needs to change just because we're in the grand final — it's just another game," he says before Young walks out on Pukekura Park, New Plymouth, to see how much an influence a coin toss will have in their one-day Ford Trophy grand final against the Auckland Aces before the 11am start today.

For the victors, when the dust settles, is the promise of $60,000 in a game that will be shown live on SkySports but for CD that will be the last thing on their minds. Ditto defeating the Aces convincingly in the preliminary final last week because it's a new slate today.

For homeboy Young, it will be the second time he will lead his troops to battle from the trenches of a compact venue that offers more love to the batsmen than bowlers. In 2015, he was a player under former skipper Kruger van Wyk who claimed bragging rights against the Aces at Colin Maiden Park before helping defend it at Pukekura Park the following season.

Despite the body blow of losing the Burger King Super Smash Twenty20 crown last month, the Stags have shown enviable resilience in racking up six wins on the trot in the Ford Trophy competition, with a loss and an abandoned match from eight outings.

"It's been great so far but the thing is with a final you don't want to fall short after all that great work. It's about using the same processes and staying consistent so, hopefully, we'll get a result," Cleaver says.

He emphasises CD have had enough playoff situations under their belt to remain composed today.

While the conditions at Seddon Park, Hamilton, had caught them a little on the hop in the T20 grand final this time it was CD's home turf at Pukekura Park.

The one-dayers, says Cleaver, offer more time to react but, conversely, players have to be on their toes for longer spells.

"It goes both ways but the good think about us is that we've been playing consistent cricket for a long periods."

He has no doubts the road to the Ford Trophy has had fewer potholes when juxtaposed with Super Smash where the Stags had to claw their way from a position that wasn't ideal.

"But I don't think any of that matters, really, because at the end of the day you've got to turn up at the final to play good cricket for however long the game is, be it four days two days or a day."

Cleaver echoes the sentiments of coach Heinrich Malan that Pukekura Park has an interesting knack for throwing up challenges. Nevertheless, he believes the Stags know what they'll be up against, they know what to do and have the personnel to carry out the mission.

"I don't think the venue [will be that much of a factor]. If anything it'll be to our advantage having the success we've had here over the past when considering the [number] of games we've played there compared to oppositions who find it quite daunting," says Cleaver who carved up an unbeaten List A maiden century in round three against the Otago Volts in early December.

He acknowledges Cyclone Gita this week hit the venue "pretty hard" but is optimistic everything will come through for a day's cricket.

Different players in different rounds offer a great snapshot of versatility in the green machine. "We haven't needed one or two players to do all the heavy lifting ... to get the job done."

Today there won't be reliance on any one player but simply everyone backing each other to find nirvana within 100 overs of play.

A chuckling Cleaver, who has a foot in each camp when he takes his crouch as well as padding up to bat, reckons the bowlers have had the edge but the batsmen are beginning to turn up at the park recently.

"I think it's pretty even right now," he says, mindful there's a healthy banter between factions to define their sense of worthiness.

Winning, he says, making everything much easier for him as wicketkeeper and batsman.

Malan says Cleaver has been a picture of consistency throughout the campaign. "He's obviously opened batting but also batted in the middle and he also scored a 100 opening in round three."

When talking of versatility and adaptability, Malan says, it's great to see players in Cleaver's mould come through in leaps and bounds because the entire team feeds off that.

For the record, Cleaver says spinner Ajaz Patel will hog the TV ratings with a fresh trim of his facial growth in a ritual reserved for the "pretty boys" of bowling.