Potential Central Stags, Hinds Debuts Abound In Palmerston North Tomorrow

Published: Mon 26 Dec 2022 06:53 PM
Potential debuts abound as the Central Stags and Hinds head into their first Dream11 Super Smash doubleheader of the 2022/23 T20 summer, tomorrow.
The Stags and Hinds open their campaign with a run of four home match days, starting at Palmerston North’s Fitzherbert Park tomorrow, 27 December against the Wellington Blaze and Firebirds — followed by three Pukekura Park festivals on 30 December, New Year’s Eve 31 December and 5 January.
Having attracted a record crowd at Fitzherbert Park last year, the Hinds would dearly love to become the first team in more than a year to end defending champion Wellington Blaze’s 12-match winning streak that stretches back to game one of last season.
Stacked with WHITE FERNS, the Blaze have headed to town to play a team captained by Manawatu local Jess Watkin, with fellow hometown reps Georgia Atkinson, WHITE FERNS seamer Hannah Rowe and Mikaela Greig also named in the opening squad.
Hawke’s Bay teenager Flora Devonshire, 19, has been named in the squad for the first time, fresh off the New Zealand Development Squad that toured India.
A graduate of the title-winning Central Districts Under-19 team last summer, Devonshire is a rarity in New Zealand women’s cricket: a left-hand batter.
While Devonshire is a potential debutante in the first match of the day, kicking off at 11am; ex-Northern Brave paceman Brett Randell, ex-Firebirds leg-spinner Brett Johnson, and Manawatu local, left-arm paceman Ray Toole all stand to make their T20 debuts for the high flying Central Stags tomorrow.
Randell and Johnson have played in this competition previously with their former teams, Randell as a member of last year’s title-winning squad at Northern.
Captained by Tom Bruce, the Stags are leading the country’s one-day Ford Trophy after six of 10 rounds and are also in the leading bunch in the Plunket Shield first-class championship. The men have drawn on strong depth in the squad with its trio of Test BLACKCAPS, Blair Tickner, Will Young and Ajaz Patel, away in Pakistan.
Evergreen opening batsman Greg Hay and regular red-ball cpatain stands to make his first appearance of the season since breaking his forearm in the nets shortly before the summer began. Hay was a revelation last summer, after he was recalled to the Stags T20 team following a seven-year absence, and will no doubt have a keen eye on the team’s 21 January fixture against the Otago Volts at his home ground, Nelson’s Saxton Oval.
Hay scored three fifties, including a career best 76 last season and, alongside 292-match veteran Ross Taylor brings two decades of cricketing nous with him.
Gates open at 10am tomorrow with the Hinds toss at 10.30am and the the Stags match set to follow with first ball at 2.40pm.
Last season’s Fitzherbert Park doubleheader on the same date broke the ground attendance record and spectators are strongly advised to buy their tickets online ahead of the match and arrive with plenty of time to minimise queues at the gate.
Both matches are live and on demand at Spark Sport and livescored at Super Smash11am and 2.40pm, 27 December, 2022Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston NorthHinds toss: 10.30amStags toss: 2.10pmCENTRAL HINDS v Wellington Blaze
Jess Watkin (captain) — Manawatu
Georgia Atkinson — Manawatu
Ocean Bartlett — Wairarapa
Emily Cunningham — Taranaki
Flora Devonshire — Hawke’s Bay — uncapped
Natalie Dodd (v-c, wicketkeeper) — Taranaki
Claudia Green — Nelson
Mikaela Greig — Manawatu
Melissa Hansen — Wairarapa
Rosemary Mair — Hawke’s Bay
Hannah Rowe — Manawatu
Kerry Tomlinson — Hawke’s BayCENTRAL STAGS v Wellington Firebirds
Tom Bruce (captain) — Taranaki
Doug Bracewell — Hawke’s Bay
Josh Clarkson — Nelson
Dane Cleaver (wicketkeeper) — Manawatu
Greg Hay — Nelson
Brett Johnson (uncapped, previously Wellington Firebirds) — Hawke’s Bay
Jayden Lennox — Hawke’s Bay
Seth Rance — Wairarapa
Brett Randell (uncapped, previously Northern Brave)
Ben Smith — Whanganui
Ross Taylor — Manawatu/Wairarapa
Ray Toole (uncapped) — Manawatu/
Unavailable contracted players:
Ajaz Patel (BLACKCAPS in Pakistan)
Blair Tickner (BLACKCAPS in Pakistan)
Will Young (BLACKCAPS in Pakistan)
Joey Field (shoulder injury)

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