Seth Rance’s immediate playing future is in doubt after the former Black Cap reinjured his troublesome shoulder in Post Office Hotel Wairarapa’s first-innings loss to Taranaki last weekend.
The 36-year-old underwent corrective surgery in March for the rare shoulder injury, a ruptured latissimus dorsi, suffered in the warmup to the Central Stags T20 Super Smash clash with the Wellington Firebirds at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North last December.
Rance had made a cautious return to cricket, turning out for his Inspire Living Greytown side in their first-innings win over Burger King Red Star in the opening round of the Bidwill Cup premier championship two weeks ago.
He showcased his all-round capabilities with a superb 82 in Wairarapa’s first innings of 237 and then took 1–10 off seven tidy overs with his accurate medium-pace bowling at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth.
However, a shoulder strain suffered in that match means that Rance could be set for a stint on the sidelines, including tomorrow’s Bidwill Cup clash with Lansdowne at Greytown. At this stage, he is uncertain of his prospects of fronting for Wairarapa in their second-round Furlong Cup match with Manawatu in a fortnight and said he will leave it up to the physio, but he won’t take the field unless he can contribute fully.
Rance isn’t the only key player missing for tomorrow’s 100-over game, with medium-fast bowler Tony Russo, who bagged 3–19 in the win over Red Star, also out. Otherwise, the side has a solid look with Hayden Ray, Alistair ‘Tora’ Boyne, Tim Fenwick, and the in-form Luke Dingle in the top and middle order, while the bulk of bowling will fall with Michael Courtman, Kirk Saunders and Byron Hegglin.
The Lansdowne lineup is unknown, but veterans Robbie Speers and Sanjay Patel are likely to be key players both with bat and ball, while Regan Fricker’s slow-medium pace bowling could prove difficult to get away on the Greytown pitch.
Red Star captain Jeremy Anderson is keen to get the defence of their Bidwill Cup title back on track against the Barbarians at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval after a disappointing first-up effort against Greytown.
Anderson felt their score of 146 was 30–40 runs short of a competitive total, and then they lacked the bowling depth to dismiss Greytown. He said they would need to bat better and take their chances in the field to get over the top of the Barbarians.
On the face of it, Red Star have the strongest batting depth in the competition. Anderson and his brother, Wairarapa captain Robbie, both scored half-centuries against Taranaki, while Mark Steventon, wicketkeeper Nathan Elliott, and allrounder George Deans are capable of scoring big runs quickly.
Allrounder Ethan Childs and medium-fast bowler James Church are the two key absentees for the Barbarians. Ethan Childs is still battling a shoulder injury that kept him out of the rep fixture with Taranaki, and 17-year-old Church, who shouldered a big workload in New Plymouth, is being rested because of a Central Districts age group trial on Sunday.
Left-arm spinner Quinn Childs will captain the side, which includes Rathkeale students Sam Jonas, Angus and Guy Jaspers, Hamesh Patel, Sam Goodman, and Jono Didsbury.
Wairarapa coach Mark Childs believes the concept behind the Barbarians is a good opportunity to test the Rathkeale boys against the men to gain invaluable experience.
Mark Childs, his nephew Caleb Burling, and brothers Jack and Hugo Wakeling will also take the field for the team, which has a strong family influence.
Greytown vs Lansdowne – Greytown 12 midday,
Red Star vs Barbarians – Queen Elizabeth Park Oval 12 midday