Poverty Bay/Northern Districts play Sri Lanka

BROTHERS IN ARMS: Scott Tallott (left) and brother Robbie are in the Poverty Bay/Northern Districts squad to play Sri Lanka in two 50-over games at Harry Barker Reserve. Picture by Paul Rickard

NEW ZEALAND cricket legend and Poverty Bay/Northern Districts team coach Lance Cairns says today’s game against the Sri Lanka under-19 cricket team at Harry Barker Reserve is a “great opportunity for all the players involved”.

“This game (the first of two 50-over matches) is all about individual performances,” Cairns said.

“The Sri Lanka lads will be looking for good performances to cement their places or push for starting spots as they prepare for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which starts in two weeks.

“The Northern Districts players in our squad will want to show they can handle Sri Lanka’s bowling and batting.

“For the local lads it’s all about experience as we work towards our Basil McBurney Trophy competition.”

The Bay/ND side will be led by Rotorua’s Andrew Gibbs.

“Andrew’s the most experienced player in the squad,” Bay selector Ryan Majstrovic said.

“He’ll share the bowling attack with Zak Gibson, who is contracted to Northern Districts, and Tommy Clout. Gibson and Clout are quickies who can get the ball to swing and seam.”

Cairns said that with the emphasis on individual performance, he wouldn’t talk a lot to the players beforehand.

“It’s a chance for them to shine,” he said.

“I’ll be looking for pride and production. We don’t want players giving their wickets away.

“As for the bowlers, it’s about containing the batsmen, making them play every ball, building pressure . . . if they do that, wickets will follow.”

Visitors in training

Cairns and Majstrovic watched the visitors train yesterday.

“I watched them bowl and they love to bowl bouncers, which was a bit of a surprise,” Cairns said.

“It’s not going to be an easy game for us. Some of them are not far away from test cricket and some are close to playing first-class cricket.”

Majstrovic said local young bowlers Jack Faulkner, Marshall Norris and Paul Stewart took the opportunity to test the Sri Lanka batsmen.

Much of the credit for getting the Sri Lankan team to Gisborne should go to former Poverty Bay Cricket Association district manager Mohit Rao, Majstrovic said.

“He pushed hard for them to come here to prepare.”

Cairns said the facilities and pitches here were also attractions.

Sri Lanka’s bowling coach is legendary opening bowler Chaminda Vaas.

The team will be captained by Kamindu Mendis, who can bowl with either arm — right-arm off-break or slow left-arm orthodox — and is also a useful batsman. Mendis played in the 2016 U19 World Cup in Bangladesh, scoring 156 runs and taking five wickets.

Other key squad members are Ashen Bandara, who topped the batting charts in this year’s U19 Asia Cup with an average of 31, and left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama.

The second game against the Bay/ND side is scheduled for Saturday.

With rain forecast for both days, organisers were prepared to postpone the scheduled 10.30am start and make a final decision on the day’s play at lunchtime.

PB/ND: Craig Christophers, Scott Tallott, Thomas Hayes, Thorn Parkes, Robbie Tallott, Timoti Weir, Jared McDonald (all PB), Anish Desai, Cooper Rowell (both Hamilton), Jake Gibson, Zak Gibson (both Waikato Valley), Andrew Gibbs (Rotorua), Ash Vodnala (Counties Manukau), Tommy Clout (Bay of Plenty).

NEW ZEALAND cricket legend and Poverty Bay/Northern Districts team coach Lance Cairns says today’s game against the Sri Lanka under-19 cricket team at Harry Barker Reserve is a “great opportunity for all the players involved”.

“This game (the first of two 50-over matches) is all about individual performances,” Cairns said.

“The Sri Lanka lads will be looking for good performances to cement their places or push for starting spots as they prepare for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which starts in two weeks.

“The Northern Districts players in our squad will want to show they can handle Sri Lanka’s bowling and batting.

“For the local lads it’s all about experience as we work towards our Basil McBurney Trophy competition.”

The Bay/ND side will be led by Rotorua’s Andrew Gibbs.

“Andrew’s the most experienced player in the squad,” Bay selector Ryan Majstrovic said.

“He’ll share the bowling attack with Zak Gibson, who is contracted to Northern Districts, and Tommy Clout. Gibson and Clout are quickies who can get the ball to swing and seam.”

Cairns said that with the emphasis on individual performance, he wouldn’t talk a lot to the players beforehand.

“It’s a chance for them to shine,” he said.

“I’ll be looking for pride and production. We don’t want players giving their wickets away.

“As for the bowlers, it’s about containing the batsmen, making them play every ball, building pressure . . . if they do that, wickets will follow.”

Visitors in training

Cairns and Majstrovic watched the visitors train yesterday.

“I watched them bowl and they love to bowl bouncers, which was a bit of a surprise,” Cairns said.

“It’s not going to be an easy game for us. Some of them are not far away from test cricket and some are close to playing first-class cricket.”

Majstrovic said local young bowlers Jack Faulkner, Marshall Norris and Paul Stewart took the opportunity to test the Sri Lanka batsmen.

Much of the credit for getting the Sri Lankan team to Gisborne should go to former Poverty Bay Cricket Association district manager Mohit Rao, Majstrovic said.

“He pushed hard for them to come here to prepare.”

Cairns said the facilities and pitches here were also attractions.

Sri Lanka’s bowling coach is legendary opening bowler Chaminda Vaas.

The team will be captained by Kamindu Mendis, who can bowl with either arm — right-arm off-break or slow left-arm orthodox — and is also a useful batsman. Mendis played in the 2016 U19 World Cup in Bangladesh, scoring 156 runs and taking five wickets.

Other key squad members are Ashen Bandara, who topped the batting charts in this year’s U19 Asia Cup with an average of 31, and left-arm spinner Praveen Jayawickrama.

The second game against the Bay/ND side is scheduled for Saturday.

With rain forecast for both days, organisers were prepared to postpone the scheduled 10.30am start and make a final decision on the day’s play at lunchtime.

PB/ND: Craig Christophers, Scott Tallott, Thomas Hayes, Thorn Parkes, Robbie Tallott, Timoti Weir, Jared McDonald (all PB), Anish Desai, Cooper Rowell (both Hamilton), Jake Gibson, Zak Gibson (both Waikato Valley), Andrew Gibbs (Rotorua), Ash Vodnala (Counties Manukau), Tommy Clout (Bay of Plenty).

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