It’s tough at the top in premier club cricket
High School Old Boys will look to extend their competition lead when they play Horouta in premier club cricket at Harry Barker Reserve tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Gisborne Boys' High School will want to right early-season wrongs as they play OBR.
After two weeks of cricket, Bollywood Stars HSOB sit on top of the leaderboard. They and Coastal Concrete OBR are undefeated, while Galaxy World GBHS and Siteworx Civil Horouta are still seeking a win.
With hot, sunny weather forecast, Horouta captain David Situ said they would have to be in top form to succeed.
“HSOB are very strong so we'll need 10 pieces of good cricket to get them out, and concentration in the sun will be key.”
He said they weren't looking to do anything special tomorrow. Instead, they would focus on playing their “best cricket”.
Horouta will look to bowlers such as Bruno Judd and Shubham Ralhan to continue their run of good form.
HSOB have a strong batting line-up so Horouta will need to follow up on any early bowling success.
HSOB captain Carl Shaw said they always looked forward to playing Horouta.
“They're good lads and play with an amazing attitude . . . it will be a good game.”
He expects a tough contest. Judd's hat-trick (in rain-shortened play two weeks ago) showed Horouta have what it takes to put any team on the back foot early.
“We're hoping to build the game plan a little more, keep gradually improving and continue to enjoy our cricket,” Shaw said.
OBR have looked strong in their opening two wins and will look to continue that form against Boys' High.
With last weekend's half-centurions Kieran Venema and Herschel Barker unavailable tomorrow, along with opening batsman Jack Faulkner, the team will have to look elsewhere for runs.
They will be bolstered by Jonathan Purcell and Timoti Weir, who will play their first games of the season.
OBR captain Nick Greeks said keys to victory would be a good start from their top order and batting their full 40 overs.
“Someone in the top four needs to push on once they are in and make a big score,” he said.
“GBHS have a good bunch of boys in their squad and we are looking forward to another great game.”
The schoolboy team have seen a different stroke of form than what they ended their season with last summer.
Last season they made all three finals and won two, and looked poised to continue growing as a team this year, but they have made a slow start.
With several players looking to find form with the bat, it won't be long before some of them regain confidence in their strokeplay.
Tomorrow the team will be without both Graham Sharp and Josiah Turner, two senior players who have been handy with the bat.
Turner was a consistent middle-order batsman throughout last summer and into the start of this season, while Sharp's batting was a crucial factor in some important wins last season.
Boys' High captain Nathan Trowell said they would need to strike early and put pressure on the OBR batting line-up tomorrow to have a show of winning.
HITTING OUT: OBR captain Nick Greeks hits out in a match against Horouta in club cricket last Saturday. Greeks says the keys to victory against Gisborne Boys' High School tomorrow will be a good start from the top-order batting and making full use of the 40 overs available.
Picture by Paul Rickard