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Osborne, Freeman handed debuts

Making his debut for Wairarapa this weekend is Cole Freeman. PHOTO/FILE

CRICKET

ELI HILL
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There’ll be several fresh faces in the Wairarapa side playing their final Furlong Cup match this weekend.

Wairarapa take on Whanganui at Victoria Park in the two-day match that is a tie breaker for the fourth-placed teams who sit on 23 points each.

Injuries, other commitments and resumption of university meant selectors only confirmed the team late on Wednesday.

Batsman Choi Jackson will return to the side, while Red Star’s Jeremy Osborne and Greytown’s Cole Freeman will both make their senior debuts.

Also returning to the side are batsman Robbie Speers and all-rounder Jaco Vorster who were unavailable for the side’s last match against Hawke’s Bay.

All-rounders Ethan Childs and Lucien Burt are both travelling to university, while Liam Burling is out for another week due to a shoulder injury.

John McKenzie and Gus Borren are unavailable as they will be playing for their Rathkeale College side.

Wairarapa coach Neil Perry said the team were looking forward to the match after getting a “reality check” from Hawke’s Bay a fortnight ago.

“Last year, we went right through the competition undefeated but in Hawke’s Bay we just weren’t good enough to overcome them.

“Aside from missing a few key players, there wasn’t much we did wrong – they simply played better than us.”

Hawke’s Bay, who scored 312-4 in their first innings, claimed an outright win when they dismissed Wairarapa twice – for 155 and 102 in Napier.

Perry said consistent bowling by their opponents had overpowered them

“It’s a case of us being able to cope with constantly good balls. They didn’t bowl many bad balls and it wore us down a bit.

“But it’s very seldom you come across a side like that. I can’t fault our performance.”

Perry said Wairarapa had been training hard for the Whanganui match – with the side’s former opening batsman Mark Childs assisting at training sessions.

“There’s been plenty of training and we’ve had a hard look at our selection, so we make sure we’ve got the best team possible.

“They’ve got some decent players and we’ll be without some of our stronger ones so it’s going to be a good match-up.”

Perry said he’s expecting Whanganui to put up a strong batting front with players such as Central Districts batsman Ben Smith and Canadian Under-19 all-rounder Akash Gill.

“We’ll just be looking to have the same processes that we usually do, obviously losing players has its challenges but it also brings opportunities for new players.

“We’re lucky that in such a small region that we can replace so many players and still have a strong side.”

The other matches of the final round will have second-placed Manawatu host first-placed Hawke’s Bay while Horowhenua-Kapiti, who are sitting in third, will host Taranaki.

Wairarapa [from]: Robbie Anderson, Choi Jackson, Jeremy Osborne, Patrick Gluck, Jaco Vorster, Daniel Ingham [c], Jack Forrester, Gordon Reisima, Anthony Sprowson, Cole Freeman, Quinn Childs, Pete Sigvertsen.

Standings after four rounds: Hawke’s Bay 45 points, Manawatu 35, Horowhenua-Kapiti 31, Wairarapa 23, Whanganui 23, Taranaki 21.

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