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Red Star target struggling Collegiate batsmen

Jared Watt made a useful return for Red Star last week. PHOTOS/FILE

Collegiate batsman targeted

CRICKET

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Burger King Red Star will be without star batsman Brock Price for today’s Coastal Challenge one-day match against Whanganui Collegiate at Greytown.

Price’s absence will be offset by the return of the Childs twins, Ethan and Quinn, who missed last Saturday’s big win over Weraroa in Levin.

Price was in superlative form in that win, smashing 119 off 78 balls and then claiming five wickets for 22 runs with his off-spin bowling.

Red Star are fourth-equal on the points table and a win over the struggling Collegiate side, who are winless at the bottom of that table, would strengthen their claims for a semifinal berth.

The Greytown pitch could be a major talking point. After being relaid in the off season, the block has only been used for Umpires Cup and T20 club matches.

Today’s game will be the first where it will be tested by representative bowlers.

This is where seam bowlers Stefan Hook and Ethan Childs and medium pacer Pete Sigvertsen could come into their own if the pitch provides plenty of assistance.

If veteran seamer Jared Watt fronts for his second game of the season, that would give Red Star another useful bowling option.

Watt made a useful return to action last Saturday claiming two top order Weraroa batsmen for 24 runs.

Left-arm spinner Quinn Childs will also be dangerous if the pitch offers variable pace and inconsistent bounce.

Red Star will look to target the weak Collegiate batting line-up whose top score has been 171 – the only time they have scored more than 100 runs in the championship.

Robbie Speers’ leg-spin could be vital against Tech Old Boys.

Jackson Street Bar Lansdowne will be desperately seeking some form from their top order batsmen for their match with Whanganui Tech Old Boys at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval.

Apart from scoring 340-6 in their opening match against Paraparaumu, the Lansdowne batsmen have failed to fire.

Captain Jack Forrester scored 97 in that game played on the Park Sports Ground No 1 artificial. Price also played in that game, scoring 144, before transferring to Red Star.

Highmark Home Wairarapa representative captain Jaco Vorster bludgeoned 115 off 85 balls, batting at number five, in the loss to Kapiti Old Boys last Saturday, but he lacked support from the remaining top order batsmen.

Veteran opener Robbie Speers, normally a prolific scorer, has struggled for runs, managing only 25, including two golden ducks, from his four innings.

After his 97, Forrester has also found runs hard to come by, scoring only 20 in his next three innings.

Reece Hannam, Nathan Chaney, and Choi Jackson have the ability to score big runs quickly but have yet to find consistency.

The Lansdowne batsmen won’t find it easy against a Tech Old Boys side that features Whanganui rep medium pace bowlers Ross and Fraser Kinnerley, and allrounder Akash Gill.

All three performed well in the representative clash against Wairarapa at the Oval.

Medium pacers John Ryan and Eric Bargh will head the Lansdowne bowling attack, but it may be the slower bowlers, Sanjay Patel and Speers who prove to be harder to score off on the pitch that has provided inconsistent pace and bounce in most games this season.

Tech Old Boys are sixth-equal on 11 points, while Lansdowne are in ninth on two points.

Both games start at noon today.

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