Central Districts side remain in an upbeat mood
Central Districts coach Heinrich Malan says morale remains good within his side despite a disappointing Twenty20 campaign.
Central host Wellington in New Plymouth today, weather permitting, still searching for their first win.
All they have to show for five rounds is two points for an abandonment, but there has been a last-ball loss to Wellington and a Super Over loss to Auckland.
"It's been tough but we feel we are pretty much there, we just aren't getting across the line," Malan said.
Mathematically, Central can still make the top three finals series, which is currently led by Otago and Northern Districts on 16 points followed by Auckland and Wellington on 12.
"We do need to go five out of five and get some favours now," Malan said.
"We are just breaking it down game by game so we can get some momentum going."
Central's problems have been the early loss of wickets and poor execution with the ball at the death.
One bright note for Central today is the return from injury of Doug Bracewell. He missed Monday's loss to Auckland because of a groin injury but trained without discomfort yesterday.
Wellington have headed north in pursuit of a win and good weather. Their Christmas double-header washout at the Basin Reserve stalled their campaign and they'll be disturbed at today's weather forecast which Malan described as "pretty bleak".
Wellington are without left-armer Andy McKay for family reasons but their bowling unit remains strong.
AT A GLANCE
Teams for the Twenty20 match at Pukekura Park in New Plymouth, starting today at 4pm:
Central Districts (from): Jamie How, Joshua Cobb, Peter Trego, Carl Cachopa, William Young, Kieran Noema-Barnett (captain), Kruger van Wyk, Doug Bracewell, Jacob Oram, Tarun Nethula, Marty Kain, Bevan Small, Ben Wheeler.
Wellington (from): Michael Papps, Michael Pollard, Stephen Murdoch, James Franklin (captain), Grant Elliott, Henry Walsh, Graham Napier, Luke Woodcock, Jeetan Patel, Brent Arnel, Dane Hutchinson, Matt Taylor
The Dominion Post