Few Hawke Cup changes look likely
Manawatu won't be calling in the cavalry for their Hawke Cup challenge against Bay of Plenty next month.
The rep side travel to Mt Maunganui for the match on February 8-10.
Player-coach Mike Mason has put feelers out to see who is available for the game, but the team is likely to be the same one Manawatu has had all summer.
Mason said former Black Caps opener Jamie How was a maybe, due to his first-class commitments and his young family, but he would be able to play, with Central Districts having a nine-day break starting on February 2.
Former Black Caps captain Ross Taylor won't be able to skive off New Zealand's Twenty20 game against England on February 9. Former international all-rounder Jacob Oram is playing in the Bangladesh Premier League, and pace bowler Adam Milne has a leg injury.
CD all-rounder Roald Badenhorst will be available. He has been a part of Manawatu's team for most of the season after taking 10 wickets in the innings and 68-run win against Taranaki in November.
Captain Luke Murray will be away at a wedding, so How would be the perfect replacement for him.
"If everyone's fit, we'll have a good bowling attack, and they all can bat a bit as well," Mason said. "It all adds up in the end.
"I'm not too fussed; we'll just see. If we get Jamie, it's a bonus; it will be nice to have him."
Northern Districts have a Plunket Shield game that weekend, which works in Manawatu's favour, as Bay of Plenty won't have their first-class players.
The players who had injured backs against Wairarapa last weekend - Mason, Dave Meiring and Dane Cleaver - should all be fit.
Those remaining from Manawatu's Hawke Cup tenure during the 2009-10 season are Meiring, Cleaver, Badenhorst, Bevan Small and Bryn Templeman.
In the final round of zone two matches last weekend, Manawatu beat Wairarapa by an innings and 54 runs, Hawke's Bay beat Taranaki in the first innings, and Horowhenua-Kapiti beat Wanganui outright by an innings and 94 runs.
Zone two points: Manawatu 41, Hawke's Bay 35, Taranaki 25, Wairarapa 13, Wanganui 9, Horowhenua-Kapiti 9.
Net runs per wicket: Manawatu + 25.77, Hawke's Bay + 6.76, Taranaki + 12.96, Wairarapa - 22.87, Wanganui - 11.07, Horowhenua-Kapiti - 13.79.