Brad Cachopa eager to prove his worth

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 12/11/2012

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Brad Cachopa says he can do much better and is desperate to repay the faith showed in him by Canterbury Cricket.

The 24-year-old moved from Auckland to Canterbury this season in search of playing opportunities and has fitted into his new side well, though his first Twenty20 game with the team - last Friday's big loss to Wellington - was a mixed bag and has only further inspired the wicketkeeper-batsman to prove his worth.

Cachopa top-scored for the Wizards with 67 not out in the six-wicket loss but his glovework was poor.

He missed stumpings and let through nine byes but is confident that performance was a one-off blip.

"It wasn't great," he said.

"I just took too long to adapt from batting to wicketkeeping but I've learnt from that."

After spending time as Gareth Hopkins' understudy in Auckland, Friday's loss was Cachopa's first T20 game with the gloves.

And while that effort was substandard, he did do a good job in the Wizards' opening round Plunket Shield loss to Otago in Rangiora last month.

Now he wants to do more.

"When a team bring you down like Canterbury have, you want to repay them on the park," he said.

"This [move] was good for me because it gives me an opportunity but I want to pay Canterbury Cricket back too."

That starts today in Dunedin when the Wizards take on Otago again, in round two of the Plunket Shield.

Cachopa wants to perform well personally but said the whole side was keen to bounce back from its opening round eight-wicket loss.

"There were three times where we let them into the game," Cachopa said.

"We got ourselves back into it twice but couldn't do it a third time.

"This game we need to take it to them a bit more and put them under pressure."

One major factor that could swing the game in Canterbury's favour is the absence of Neil Wagner from Otago's side.

Like Canterbury's Todd Astle, Wagner is in Sri Lanka with the New Zealand test side, but Otago's attack is a much different beast without the aggressive left-armer.

"Waggy bowls a lot of overs for them. They do have other bowlers but without their spearhead hopefully we can counter-attack and put them under pressure," Cachopa said.

The Wizards have called in Marist-Harewood batsmen Cole McConchie and Old Boys-Collegians' Matt McEwen to the squad to replace Astle and import Gareth Andrew, who is injured.

Whether or not to play McConchie and McEwen will be coach Gary Stead's decision this morning, meaning a first-class debut for Canterbury Country quick Will Williams is all but a certainty.

Canterbury: Peter Fulton (c), Dean Brownlie, Brad Cachopa, Tim Johnston, Willie Lonsdale, Cole McConchie, Ben McCord, Matt McEwen, Henry Nicholls, Shanan Stewart, Will Williams, George Worker.

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