Manawatu bank on new bowlers for Wanganui Hawke Cup clash
Manawatu will wheel out a new bowling attack for their Hawke Cup game against Wanganui this weekend.
Palmerston North Boys' High School's Jack Harris will play his first game for Manawatu and take the new ball for the Hawke Cup game in Wanganui on Saturday and Sunday.
Leg-spinner Braden Rowe, who has just finished at Boys' High, will play his second game after he debuted against Horowhenua-Kapiti at the end of last season.
Spearhead Navin Patel has been called up to play for Central Districts, who start the one-day competition this weekend, so is unavailable and they are still without the services of seamers Caleb Gaylard and Jack Gleeson.
Gaylard and Gleeson are both coming back from injury and have been given the game off to get right, but should play club cricket this weekend.
Spinning all-rounder Arana Noema-Barnett missed out on selection with Rowe coming in.
Harris and Nick Blundell will open the bowling on what could be a slow and flat Victoria Park, which is where Rowe should offer something, as will off-spinners Henry Collier and Scott Davidson, who has left Old Boys and is now with Boys' High as a player coach.
Blundell, who will be playing against his former side, and medium pacer Thomas Kuggeleijn bowled well in Manawatu's last outing against Horowhenua-Kapiti before Christmas.
All-rounder Collier, who is also a former Wanganui rep, played for CD A at the provincial A tournament last week.
Even with a couple of new bowlers, Manawatu still has a strong batting lineup, which includes Mitch Renwick, who also spent the week with CD A.
Manawatu are well behind Hawke's Bay and Taranaki in the Furlong Cup standings and need results to go their way in the final two rounds if they want a Hawke Cup challenge.
Manawatu need Hawke's Bay to get first-innings points against Taranaki this weekend, then Hawke's Bay have their final game washed out, while Manawatu will also need outright wins against Wanganui and Taranaki in the last two rounds.
With two washed out games this season, Manawatu coach Mike Mason wanted two full days of cricket this weekend and he said the team just want to get a game in.
"We'll just soldier on and hopefully we do well this weekend," he said. "We'll get in there and do our best and see what happens."
Wanganui, who are coached by Warren Marr this year, have most of the usual suspects, but will have two players away with the Central Districts under-17 team in all-rounder Akash Gill and seamer Connor O'Leary, while veteran Dom Rayner is at a wedding.
Wanganui will have former Manawatu Turbos outside back Craig Clare, who played 10 games for the Manawatu rep cricket team between 2001 and 2004.
Clare is now working in Wanganui and playing club cricket for Marton.
Another Manawatu player is in the Wanganui team in Boys' High batsman Thomas Walshe, who is a boarder from Hunterville.
In other games this weekend, Taranaki play Hawke's Bay in New Plymouth and Wairarapa host Horowhenua-Kapiti in Masterton.
Manawatu: Luke Murray (Freyberg), Mason Hughes (United), Mitch Renwick (Marist), Dave Meiring (Marist) captain, Henry Collier (Old Boys), Scott Davidson (PNBHS), Whetu na Nagara (Freyberg), Tim Richards (Old Boys), Thomas Kuggeleijn (Freyberg), Braden Rowe (United), Nick Blundell (Old Boys), Jack Harris (PNBHS).
Wanganui: Simon Badger (captain), Matt Boswell, Nick Harding, Greg Smith, Craig Clare, Mark Fraser, Todd Inness, John McIlraith, Thomas Walshe, Ryan Slight, Angus Dinwiddie, Ross Kinnerly.
Furlong Cup points: Taranaki 27, Hawke's Bay 23, Manawatu 16, Wairarapa 6, Wanganui 4, Horowhenua-Kapiti 0.