Riverview Motel Whanganui are preparing for the second of the Furlong Cup double-header matches in Marton against title contenders Whitaker Civil Engineering Taranaki on Saturday.
After the disappointment of giving up first innings points to HMC Horowhenua Kāpiti at Centennial Park in last weekend’s rained-out match, dismissed for just 66 in less than 33 overs, coach Warren Marr said the side had a productive meeting this week.
Players self-reflected on their failures with the bat, only two of them reaching double figures, and feedback was also sought from teammates.
“They peer-reviewed each other, which was great,” Marr said.
The idea was for team members to boost each others’ confidence to face Taranaki and they trained “with real purpose” on Wednesday, he said.
The weather is expected to be wet on both days this weekend but Whanganui must concentrate with the bat - facing down deliveries and getting comfortable to score runs.
“You’ve got to process it’s going to be a fine day and play accordingly,” Marr said.
“We’ve got to play it ball by ball and see what happens.
“We desperately want some cricket, to be honest.”
Marr has not made changes to the squad, other than those forced by circumstances – the big one being professional Ben Smith who has been called back into the Central Districts squad for this weekend.
That has earned Whanganui cricket and rugby double representative Nick Harding, one of the regular wider training squad members, a recall to the side.
Only getting the news of Smith’s promotion on Wednesday evening, Marr said it was likely Harding would slot into the top three of the batting order as a straight switch, allowing the regular openers another opportunity to settle into their roles.
“We could have made a couple of changes at the top of the order; the guys know they’re on notice.”
The other change is Connor O’Leary coming back in for Oscar Mabin, having been on injury standby for the young Whanganui Collegiate bowler before the Horowhenua Kāpiti game.
Taranaki did not get a lot of cricket last weekend with their crucial game with perennial Furlong Cup winners Pay Excellence Hawke’s Bay rained out. The game was delicately poised with Hawke’s Bay reaching 155-4 after 43 overs, Taranaki bowler Grant Commerford impressing with 3-46 off his 12 overs.
Play will start at 10.30am both days.
The Whanganui team is Chris Sharrock (c), Daniel Burgess, Joel Clark, Nick Harding, Carter Hobbs, Shaun O’Leary, Mark Fraser, Hadleigh O’Leary, Ross Kinnerley, Connor O’Leary, Fraser Kinnerley and James Woodford.
Draw for November 25
Premier 2 Twenty20
Wanganui Vet Services Marist 2nd XI vs Property Brokers United P2
Whanganui High School T20 vs Wicket Warriors Whanganui
Wanganui Old Boys-Tech vs Hunterville Hackers CC
Wanganui Renegades vs Matt Burke Engineering Marton Saracens T20
Whanganui High School vs Wanganui Old Boys-Tech
Whanganui Collegiate 2nd XI vs Wanganui Vet Services Marist 2nd
Byes: Kaitoke Knight Riders