The Treadwell Gordon Wanganui batsmen better be prepared to move their feet and look alive as the toughest Furlong Cup opponent in Hawke's Bay have arrived with a solid spin-bowling contingent at Victoria Park today.
Looking to leapfrog table leaders Taranaki, who they have already beaten, the Hawke's Bay batsmen will also be looking to wrack up a big total by emulating their previous two away trips to Marton's Centennial Park and Victoria Park respectively.
In those 2014 and 2016 games, Hawke's Bay had three and four century-makers in one innings respectively.
"It won't be like that this weekend, mate," said long-serving manager Justin Lock, who was at both fixtures.
"It's been pretty busy up there with the Festival [of Cricket]."
A slightly damp wicket from the overnight rainfall of the past few days, along with the No1 pitch having hosted two weeks of girls representative games, could level out the match.
Once again, Wanganui will be putting a lot of eggs in the basket of returning professional Greg Smith.
Smith, who scored 61 and 102 at Manawaroa Park for Wanganui against Manawatu in November, comes back to Furlong Cup level while Central Districts play the Burger King Super Smash T20.
"George Worker was released [from the Black Caps] so Ben's going to play for us," said Lock.
"We've trained well all week, we had 14 to choose from, which is good commitment at this time of year."
Coach Warren Marr is still in Barbados with his Collegiate school team, as is pace bowler Connor O'Leary, while Wanganui had another blow with their other young speedster Ryan Slight's withdrawal with injury.
However, captain Simon Badger is back and has always had Marr's full confidence to be able to marshall the troops without him.
In other changes, Matthew Boswell is out and Thomas Walshe earns a recall after scoring 100 in club cricket last Saturday.
"He's gone away and put some runs on the board and you've got to look at that," said Lock.
Greg Smith keeps the overseas player spot ahead of Akash Gill, with the Wanganui side batting right down to No11, although someone will have to put their hand up to be the key man with Badger deciding the order.
As always batting time in front of quality spinners at club level, while having to go without their own at representative level, has been an issue this summer, with the visitors looking to take advantage of it.
"They are the standard alright – they don't lose too many games and they've got a good all around attack with spin bowlers and pace bowlers," said Lock.
"They will be bringing four spinners with them."
With bat or ball, Hawke's Bay's Jacob Smith, Matt Edmondson, GC Pretorius and Angus Shaw have all had some solid returns against Wanganui.
Nonethless, the home side must recall their commendable effort last summer at Napier's Nelson Park, where despite the nine wicket loss they still came back in that match, including bowling Hawke's Bay out for 186 in their first innings.
The teams are:
Wanganui: Ben Smith, Thomas Walshe, Dominic Rayner, Greg Smith, Chris Stewart, Simon Badger (c), Mark Fraser, Matthew Simes, John McIlraith, Ross Kinnerley, Nick Harding, Trent Hemi.
Hawke's Bay: Jacob Smith (c), Matt Edmondson, James Field, Dean Foxcroft, Jayden Lennox, GC Pretorius, Liam Rukuwai, Angus Schaw, Bradley Schmulian, Ben Stoyanoff, Graeme Tryon, Luke Wright.