Foster wants to make most of every game

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 23/11/2012
James Foster
Photosport
KNIGHT RIDER: Northern Knights' import player James Foster is back.

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When the Northern Knights lost wicketkeeper-batsman Peter McGlashan to retirement in the pre-season, there were concerns the side might be stumped finding his Twenty20 replacement.

Instead, they find themselves in the safe hands of former England glovesman James Foster, who played a huge part in the SkyCity Knights winning their opening HRV Cup match this month.

Foster and his new side will meet the Central Stags at Hamilton's Seddon Park tonight, with fans hoping to see more fireworks from him and fellow Englishman Steven Croft.

Against Otago, Croft smashed 81 off 49 balls and Foster added 48 off 30 as the experienced professionals put on 126 in 12.1 overs for the fifth wicket to turn the match around for the Knights.

"We've both played a lot of Twenty20," Foster, 32, said.

"We wanted to play with intent without going into our shells. We knew we needed a partnership but couldn't afford any rash shots. No matter what format of the game, partnerships are crucial."

The win over Otago gave Northern some early momentum as they seek to push on to win the Twenty20 title for the first time.

"It's a great opportunity for us and we've got a very good team that's led very well by Scott Styris," Foster said.

"He's got so much experience - I played with him at Essex and, unfortunately, against him last season."

His relationship with Styris helped ease Foster's entry to the Knights ranks.

"When I noticed Peter had retired I got in touch with Scotty to see if the Knights might want a wicketkeeper."

Foster is playing only the shortest format for the Knights and in between matches - widely spaced this month under a new schedule designed to fit TV demands - he has been "visiting the in-laws in Perth" and practising.

"It's unique - in domestic cricket back home we play so much cricket, so it's weird not to have another game until three weeks later. You need a lot of practice as you can lose your rhythm very quickly."

The Knights will hope that hasn't happened with Foster and Croft when the two imports, captain Styris and unwanted Black Cap B J Watling, give them plenty of firepower against a Stags team without veteran Black Caps allrounder Jacob Oram.

Northern Knights: Scott Styris (c), Graeme Aldridge, Corey Anderson, Brent Arnel, Steven Croft, Anton Devich, James Foster, James Marshall, Daryl Mitchell, Bradley Scott, B J Watling, Brad Wilson. 

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- Waikato

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