Robbie Speers . . . Greytown mainstay with bat and ball. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
Application will be a key word for Greytown and Lansdowne when they meet in Wairarapa Cricket’s Bidwill Cup final at Queen Elizabeth Park oval in Masterton on Saturday and Sunday.
Preliminary round and semifinal matches in this competition were played under a one-day format requiring a somewhat different mindset to that for this weekend which is, in fact, the only senior club game to be staged over two days all season.
It will be on the batting front where the bigger adjustments must be made as there will be greater time to accumulate runs and it will be interesting to see how the teams react to that situation.
Certainly, there will be less excuse for rash shots to be played, particularly for those at the top of the order who can afford to be more patient and deliberate in their approach.
Under the one-day format, the two finalists have met twice this season and the honours have been shared — Greytown winning the first of their clashes by a wide margin and Lansdowne the second, also in comfortable fashion.
In their semifinal win over Hutt Academy in a low-scoring fixture last weekend, Greytown chose to open their batting with the experienced duo of Robbie Speers and Mark Childs but the return of Wairarapa rep John McKenzie will very probably see him and Childs given the job in the final.
Speers could then come in at three with Gordon Reisima, Reder van Rooyen, Paul Lyttle, Simon Clinton-Baker and Jesse Lange giving them what should be good depth through the middle to lower order.
Lansdowne, for their part, are likely to stay with usual openers Jay Macdonald and Chis Jackson and follow them with three players who have shown excellent batting form this season — Jack Forrester, Brock Price and Jaco Vorster.
Greytown’s new ball attack will centre around Ethan Childs, Brian James and Reisima with van Rooyen, Speers and Quinn Childs likely to bear decent workloads, especially Speers and Quinn Childs if the pitch is taking turn.
It was four wickets from Speers which played such an important part in their semifinal win and he has had significant success on the oval pitch in the past.
Lansdowne have several bowlers who have made an impact this season.
Barrett and Jacob Le Roux have been their main wicket-takers in Bidwill Cup games to date but Price, Drew Macdonald, John Ryan and Sanjay Patel cannot be underestimated either.
If there is some bounce in the pitch, Price may benefit as much as anybody as he can be very quick in those circumstances.
It is in Lansdowne’s favour too that having finished the round robin as the leading team they will choose whether to bat or bowl first as there is no toss for this fixture.
And they also have the advantage of knowing that a draw will be good enough for them to take the title as the top qualifiers, so variable weather won’t worry them as much as it will Greytown.