Burly fast bowler seen as big asset

Taranaki opening bowler Robert McLeod.
Taranaki opening bowler Robert McLeod.

Outgoing Taranaki cricket coach Kerry O'Neill says strike bowler Robert McLeod is vital to the side's chances of winning silverware in coming seasons.

McLeod was easily the most successful bowler over the summer, picking up 21 scalps - 11 more than the next best - at 11.47 runs per wicket.

In recent years, Taranaki has lacked strike power and O'Neill said that remained a problem, but there was hope.

"When you're talking about an opening bowler, you've got to have someone bowling 135kmh plus and doing something with the ball," he said.

"We've got lots of guys that bowl 120-125, but just lack that extra bit of zip."

O'Neill believed McLeod had huge potential.

"He's a big strong guy and he muscles the ball down. He just needs to get fitter and he'll get better."

While the Revital Fertilisers Taranaki team underperformed this season, there were some standout individual performances with the bat.

Dean Robinson showed his class and topped the scoring with 632 runs.

His four centuries and four not outs in 10 innings saw the Central Districts opener end the season with the impressive average of 105.3.

Ex-Black Cap Peter Ingram, playing his first full season for his province in years, enjoyed his share of success, scoring 486 runs, including an unbeaten double century against Horowhenua-Kapiti in a Hawke Cup match in Levin.

William Young played only five matches because of his Central Districts commitments, averaging 81, while Tom Bruce showed he was a genuine talent in the middle-order, scoring 113 runs from three innings.

Taranaki Daily News