Recalled Murphy will play
Waimate fast bowler Simon Murphy's retirement from Hawke Cup cricket lasted one month, and South Canterbury's premier fast bowler from two seasons ago, Glenn Matthews, will make a return as wicketkeeper when South Canterbury face Mid Canterbury starting tomorrow.
Murphy's return comes as a shock after he walked out on the South Canterbury side on the eve of their last game against Southland last month.
At the time, he had said that his body could no longer handle the rigours of representative two-day cricket.
However, South Canterbury were desperate to find a third seamer option, with Ben Watson at university and allrounder James Laming unavailable for the match.
Murphy's figures of four for 45 last weekend against Celtic made coach Robin Beeby get in contact with him.
"I picked up the phone and called after his performance last week and while it took some convincing, he did come back.
"He was at training (on Wednesday) and was really energetic ... He's still got the goods."
South Canterbury selector John Davies had called Canterbury Wizards coach Gary Stead and asked whether allrounder Ben McCord or injury-prone bowler Hamish Bennett could be released to play.
The request for McCord was turned down, but Stead said Bennett, a genuine tailender, could be released to play as a batsman only, which South Canterbury refused.
Matthews, once the quickest bowler in South Canterbury, has been wicket-keeping for Celtic in 2013, but showed little interest in playing representative cricket until a few weeks ago.
Beeby said Matthews was fortunate that "South Canterbury is full of part-time keepers", with Temuka's Johnny Geddis battling knee issues and Ritchie Preston not keen to take the gloves. Both men will play as batsmen.
Waimate captain Glen Drake also returns to bolster the batting.
He missed the Southland match thanks to Canterbury Under-19 commitments and replaces Celtic's Jacob Naylor.
Star's left-arm quick Craig Hinton returns from his wedding hiatus to take the new ball with Englishman Matt Woods.
South Canterbury need an outright result against the winless Mid Canterbury side to keep their Hawke Cup challenge hopes alive.
Beeby said what he had seen of Mid Canterbury did not worry him.
However, he hoped his under-utilised spinners would get more of an opportunity.
"The Southland spinners would have bowled 50 per cent of their overs where we would have used ours for 30 per cent," he said.
Beeby said it could be linked to having his best spinner, Sam Carlaw, as captain and he encouraged him to show some confidence and back his slower bowlers.
The Mid Canterbury team will be known today.
AT A GLANCE
South Canterbury: Sam Carlaw (c), Ritchie Preston, Craig Davies, Johnny Geddis, Nick Horsley, Glen Drake, Glenn Matthews, Zane Sanders, Simon Murphy, Matt Woods, Craig Hinton.
The Timaru Herald