Beeby takes batting gamble against North Otago
Robin Beeby admits he is taking a calculated gamble with some of his selections for South Canterbury's second Hawke Cup match against North Otago in Oamaru, starting tomorrow.
Coach Beeby and manager John Davies have picked two debutantes based on one game of senior cricket in an attempt to solidify the batting.
Former Canterbury age-group player Gerrit Roux and Englishman James Ellwood will look to strengthen a top order that has failed to fire so far this season, despite an outright win against Otago Country to start the campaign.
Ellwood scored an impressive 78 for Roncalli/Celtic against Celtic's strong bowling attack which included many current and former representative players. He will play as the import after Will Watts and Curtly Slatter failed to make the most of multiple opportunities to impress.
Roux scored 60 in the run chase for Celtic but ran out of partners and was forced to hit out which led to his downfall.
Roux replaces Celtic fast bowler James Blackstock who misses out as Beeby looked to strengthen the batting.
Blackstock had also been suffering from a sore knee which may have played a part in his exclusion.
South Canterbury made just 193 and 156 against Otago Country but it was the 13 wickets from spinners Sam Carlaw and Glen Drake that won them the game.
Veteran Andrew Buckingham also steps aside despite a gallant 52 in the first game.
He is replaced by hard-hitting Temuka veteran Richie Preston, who is out of form, but Beeby said had to be there on potential.
"There aren't many players who can go out there and score a century like he can at the top of the innings. We need to strengthen our batting because it is an area we have struggled in all season."
Beeby said he pushed to have Roux in the team after he had played alongside Ben McCord in Christchurch.
"Ben rates him pretty highly so we want him there."
He said Ellwood was more of a gamble but to get 78 runs against the best bowling attack in South Canterbury club cricket was a good sign.
Nathan McNicol and Craig Hinton will be the only two frontline seam options, with Jack Harper and James Laming filling the third and fourth seamer's role.
The team has three spin options with Carlaw, Drake and Zane Sanders all capable.
North Otago has had an outright loss to Southland but earned a first innings win over Mid Canterbury.
South Canterbury: James Laming c, Richie Preston, Gerrit Roux, Jack Harper, Glen Drake, James Ellwood, Sam Carlaw, Adam Beck (wk), Nathan McNicol, Craig Hinton, Zane Sanders.
North Otago: Ben Cant c, Jeremiah Shields, Glynn Cameron, Jeremy Smith, Duncan Drew, Francois Mostert. Sean Conlan (wk), Nathan Smith, Jordan Horrell, Matthew Day, Cris Ware.
- The Timaru Herald