Napier Technical Old Boys have every intention of upholding their club bragging rights in the country but the dimensions of the sandpit, as it were, have been changed all the way to Auckland.

Not that the Innovate Electrical-sponsored Texans are complaining but the Central Districts qualifying tournament to be staged in Palmerston North has mutated from a 50-overs affair to a Twenty20 one.

"Twenty20 cricket almost suits us because we've got some fairly good batters in the top order," says rookie season captain Jayden Lennox before they play Stoke Cricket Club from Marlborough first up this morning before crossing bats against hosts club United in the afternoon at Fitzherbert Park.

They face Marist, of Whanganui, tomorrow morning before the final that afternoon to see who progresses to Auckland as the CD flag fliers.


Lennox agrees the hardest about booking a flight to the national club championship is making sure they don't trip in the CD qualifiers.

"It becomes a bit of a lottery once you get to Palmy."

The 25-year-old accepts the T20 platform can be slippery, especially if the oppositions can have the propensity to post 80-odd without the loss of any wickets to create a launching pad. The run rate kicks in if teams are tied on wins and losses although NTOB boast a "free-scoring" mindset so will do everything possible not to let it go down that path.

The Hawke's Bay Cricket administrator says because they play everybody their experience will make a sizeable difference.

Leg spinner Jayden Lennox will be leading the back-to-back defending champions NTOB for the first time at a tournament in his rookie captain season. Photo / file
Leg spinner Jayden Lennox will be leading the back-to-back defending champions NTOB for the first time at a tournament in his rookie captain season. Photo / file

They have played in Palmy for the past four years so they have a fairly balanced side with mature blokes at pivotal positions.

"Craig Findlay's come back in so he's got about 450 games of experience and then Christian [Leopard] will be looking to score runs to get his name back in lights again so we have some players who'll be hungry and that's good to, hopefully, get us over the line," he says of the HB Cricket CEO who made an unbeaten century in a premier club 40-over match last Sunday and Leopard who is a Stags cricketer.

Lennox — who has been in and out of the Stags squad "running water" for two months with four one-dayers under his belt — has been with NTOB since he was a kid and has played for the Texans since the summer of 2011-12.

"The most important thing will be containment," says the leg spinner in his first captaincy for NOTB prems at a tournament. "So as many dot balls as possible and then restricting them."


Strangling opposition batsmen through the middle order and frustrating them with some slick fielding will be on the blueprint.

Lennox feels the planning will have to be more elaborate than a limited-overs match because teams will only have 90 minutes to make a statement.

"Bad execution between bat and the ball could be the difference in the game so you've got to be changing things and not just run up in the hope things are going to happen but to make sure they happen."

Last year's man-of-the-tournament at the nationals, Todd Watson, will spearhead NTOB's bowling attack. Veteran Liam Rukuwai, returning from a hiatus from cricket, will add some zing with his big-game experience.