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Wairarapa focus on playing good cricket

Ethan Childs had to pass a fitness test before his inclusion in the Wairarapa team. PHOTOS/FILE


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Highmark Homes Wairarapa coach Neil Perry wants his team to focus on playing good cricket, when they take on Horowhenua-Kapiti in a two-day Furlong Cup match at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval this weekend.

Wairarapa go into the second round of the competition, which doubles as the Hawke Cup elimination series, with a washout result from their first-round match against Taranaki last month, whereas Horowhenua-Kapiti suffered an innings defeat to Hawke’s Bay.

With the other four teams having played their second-round matches last weekend, Hawke’s Bay have a clear lead in the competition, with maximum points from two outright victories.

The return of Quinn Childs gives Wairarapa a valuable spinning option.

That means Wairarapa must pick up an outright victory and as many batting and bowling bonus points as possible from this weekend’s game if they are to remain realistic prospects in the series.

However, Perry said it was important that the players did not think about the result.

“We try not to look at things in terms of points, we try to look at just playing good cricket, and if we play good cricket, we’ll put ourselves in good positions,” he said.

“We’ll be looking to be positive, but if we look too far ahead and start thinking about points, it filters into our thinking and we’re not in the moment when playing and that affects performance.”

Wairarapa have shown in past seasons to be a match for the other teams, with first innings wins over Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay last season being proof of the team’s ability.

Perry said those results and their encouraging performance in last month’s rained-out match with Taranaki have given the team a lot of belief.

“We believe we can beat any side and we’ve proven that over the last couple of years. But we’ve just got to make sure we get the performance right.

“We believe that we’re going to go out there and put a good performance on the park, and if we do that for long enough then we’ll get good results.”

The players from both sides know each other well through their participation in the Coastal Challenge, involving club teams from Wairarapa, Horowhenua-Kapiti, and Whanganui.

Perry said that although they are much more aware of how the opposition play, there will be a lift in intensity, and the focus remains on being positive and playing good cricket.

Wairarapa, though, will be keen to avenge their embarrassing innings loss the last time the two teams met in November last year.

There is one change from the Wairarapa side who played Taranaki, with left-arm spinner Quinn Childs coming in to replace prolific run scorer Brock Price, who has moved to Australia.

Although Price’s absence leaves a big hole in the top-middle order, Quinn Childs provides a valuable slow bowling option with his accurate left-arm spin.

Medium-fast bowlers Ethan Childs and Gus Borren underwent fitness tests on Wednesday night and are expected to take their places in the team.

Wairarapa squad: Gordon Reisima [captain], John McKenzie, Robbie Anderson, Jared van Deventer, Andy Dodd, Jaco Vorster, Gus Borren, Stefan Hook, Jack Forrester, Ethan Childs, Peter Sigvertsen, Quinn Childs.

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