Fielding key to success at T20 tourney

WELCOME BACK Pirates allrounder Dane Thompson hits through the onside in a club cricket game. Thompson has made an immediate impact since returning from university, taking three wickets in his first game last weekend and hitting 55 off 52 ball for a strike rate of 105.77 in Thursday night’s Walker Shield T20 game. He will be a key man for the Bay at theNorthen Districts T20 tournament in Taupo. Picture by Paul Rickard

POVERTY Bay selector Ian Loffler says the three-day twenty20 tournament staring in Taupo tomorrow will be a good challenge.

“It used to be 50 overs but now it’s all twenty20 games against all the Northern Districts associations,” said Loffler.

“We (coach Lance Cairns and selector Ryan Majstrovic) believe the shorter version of the game will suit us better.

“We’ve got a good mix of of players with batsmen who can go hard — like Scott Tallott and Thomas Hayes — and others who can feed them the strike.

“The key for us will be fielding. The pressure is on the fielders to make sure singles don’t become twos and twos don’t become threes. If we’re sharp in the field the pressure goes back on the batsmen to try to keep the run rate ticking over.”

Loffler said the return of Craig Christophers, who missed the last two games — a loss to Hawke’s Bay in a 40-overs game and first innings points loss to Waikato Valley in a two-day match — Dane Thompson, who is back from university, and former Bay player Alex Goodin (Bay of Plenty) was a boost.

“All three are good all-rounders. Craig, in particular, will bring his experience, which will help Danny (Gibbs, Bay captain).”

The Bay will not have main strike bowler Jak Rowe due to work commitments so Richard Mills, Jimmy Holden and Timoti Weir will lead the attack, with Gibbs and Jonathan Purcell supplying the spin options.

Purcell goes into the match on the back of consistent performances, including taking sevens wickets for 15 runs off five overs against Horouta last week. However the next three days will be a step up — where any bad balls are likely to be dispatched to the boundary.

“It is going to be a challenge,” said Loffler, “but one the boys are looking forward to, and I believe we are up to it.”

POVERTY Bay selector Ian Loffler says the three-day twenty20 tournament staring in Taupo tomorrow will be a good challenge.

“It used to be 50 overs but now it’s all twenty20 games against all the Northern Districts associations,” said Loffler.

“We (coach Lance Cairns and selector Ryan Majstrovic) believe the shorter version of the game will suit us better.

“We’ve got a good mix of of players with batsmen who can go hard — like Scott Tallott and Thomas Hayes — and others who can feed them the strike.

“The key for us will be fielding. The pressure is on the fielders to make sure singles don’t become twos and twos don’t become threes. If we’re sharp in the field the pressure goes back on the batsmen to try to keep the run rate ticking over.”

Loffler said the return of Craig Christophers, who missed the last two games — a loss to Hawke’s Bay in a 40-overs game and first innings points loss to Waikato Valley in a two-day match — Dane Thompson, who is back from university, and former Bay player Alex Goodin (Bay of Plenty) was a boost.

“All three are good all-rounders. Craig, in particular, will bring his experience, which will help Danny (Gibbs, Bay captain).”

The Bay will not have main strike bowler Jak Rowe due to work commitments so Richard Mills, Jimmy Holden and Timoti Weir will lead the attack, with Gibbs and Jonathan Purcell supplying the spin options.

Purcell goes into the match on the back of consistent performances, including taking sevens wickets for 15 runs off five overs against Horouta last week. However the next three days will be a step up — where any bad balls are likely to be dispatched to the boundary.

“It is going to be a challenge,” said Loffler, “but one the boys are looking forward to, and I believe we are up to it.”

Poverty Bay women will be looking to back up from their win against Palmerston North in Hastings last week when they host Hawke’s Bay at Harry Barker Reserve tomorrow in a 40-overs game (11am start).

Player-coach Mel Knight led from the front against Palmerston with an unbeaten 127 as the Bay posted 245-9 in 40 overs, then rolled the opposition for 128.

Knight’s daughter Kayley and Phoebe Taylor chipped in with scores of 36 and 34.

The Knights shared a second-wicket stand of 90.

Emma Hayes, Taylor and Bayleigh Colbert did the damage with the ball. Taylor injured her right hand playing for Horouta against Campion in a Walker Shield T20 game on Thursday night but hopes to be OK for tomorrow.

“This will be our first game against Hawke’s Bay since 2012,” said Mel Knight.

“Historically they are very strong but after speaking to one of their officials, the team coming through tomorow are a young one.”

“We also have a very young team so it’s a good chance for us to give them experience.

“Playing on the rep wicket will be a first for many of them.”

Meanwhile, the Bay will again be without the services of Tayla Hollis, who is in the Northern Spirit team playing Central Hinds in Hamilton.

Hollis was 12th man in yesterday’s T20 game won by Central by seven wickets.

Former Poverty Bay player Kerry Tomlinson played her part in the win, scoring an unbeaten 21 as the Hinds chased down 131.

The teams clash again in one-dayers today and tomorrow.


POVERTY BAY WOMEN: Mel Knight (captain), Lucy McHugh (vc), Rachel Scott, Phoebe Taylor, Courtney Hayes, Emma Hayes, Jayxena Piwari, Kayley Knight, Rubi Perano, Bayleigh Colbert, Paige Bentley, Nicole Torrie.

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