Poverty Bay bolstered
FRESH off a hundred, Thorn Parkes will wear the Poverty Bay cricket colours tomorrow.
The 19-year-old batting prodigy fits in matches for Poverty Bay when he can but Northern Districts A and age-group cricket have often prevented it.
Parkes is also playing for Northland in the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl competition and scored 129 for them against Bay of Plenty last weekend. It was his first senior representative century.
Tomorrow, he will play for Poverty Bay against the Bay of Plenty second 11 at Mount Maunganui in a Basil McBurney Trophy 50-over game.
The left-handed batsman first played for Poverty Bay when he was 14.
Opening batsman Nic Hendrie is also returning to the side, having recovered from a broken thumb.
The inclusion of Parkes, last season’s skipper Hendrie and Hamilton and former Pirates batsman Thomas Hayes will strengthen the batting.
But regular No.3 Bruce Kerr is away coaching the junior secondary boys’ representative team in Whangarei.
Andrew Gibbs retains the captaincy and Josiah Turner returns to the squad.
Poverty Bay started their Basil McBurney campaign with a heavy loss to the Hamilton second 11 at Harry Barker Reserve.
They put in a much better performance against the Hawke’s Bay Mavericks in Hastings last weekend.
One of the Poverty Bay selectors, Ryan Majstrovic, said it had been a disjointed start to the season.
“The positivity around the side last weekend, despite circumstances, was an absolute credit to those involved,” he said.
Majstrovic said the leadership shown by Gibbs was a big factor in the side’s improvement.
“It’ll be exciting this week to see some of our best batsmen available for the first time this season in Nic, Thomas and Thorn.”
Parkes attended Te Hapara School and Gisborne Intermediate before a five-year stint at King’s College in Auckland.
He was the leading runscorer at the national under-19 cricket tournament in Lincoln last year.
He started a commerce degree at Otago University this year.
“It’s always good to come and give back to the Bay whenever I possibly can,” Parkes said.
“It’s hard being away and being unable to play as much as I can for them so, whenever I’m back, it’s always a pleasure playing for my home town with cricketers I’ve grown up alongside.”
Parkes acknowledged he hadn’t yet scored many runs for Poverty Bay.
“There are some very good players in the team,” he said.
“What we have to do is string some performances together, get some wins and gain confidence so we can get back into the top division and show the classic Poverty Bay fight everyone wants to see.”
Spinner and last week’s No.4 batsman Nadeera Nawela is unavailable tomorrow but will likely be part of the squad for the Brian Dunning T20 tournament in Taupo next month.
Former Campion College student Michael Rowland, now living in Tauranga, will provide a spin option.
Poverty Bay had a cliff-hanger last season against the Bay of Plenty second 11.
BoP needed four runs to win off the last ball of the game but Graham Hudson took their final wicket instead.
Hudson has not bowled in recent weeks because of a back injury and he played club cricket for Horouta last week as a specialist batsman.
Hendrie scored 72, Hayes 35 and Robbie Tallott 42 in Poverty Bay’s 239 for nine against the BoP side last year. BoP were all out for 236.
The Bay of Plenty second 11 went on to win the Basil McBurney Trophy last season.
Poverty Bay: Andrew Gibbs (c), Nic Hendrie, Parminder Kulaar, Thomas Hayes, Thorn Parkes, Rowan Smith, Robbie Tallott, Josiah Turner, Alex Gooding, Michael Rowland, Paul Stewart, Jimmy Holden, Travis Mitchell.