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Uncapped twins selected for Central Hinds - Central District Cricket

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Nelson identical twins Anna and Kate Gaging are poised to make their Hallyburton Johnstone Shield one-day debuts for the Central Hinds together this weekend.

With Hannah Rowe, Natalie Dodd and Rosemary Mair all on WHITE FERNS duties, the vacancy sign was up ahead of Saturday’s resumption of the one-day season - creating further opportunities for the 19-year-old sisters who both made composed Dream11 Super Smash debuts for the Hinds last month.

Top of the national one-day ladder, the Hinds are well placed to make this year’s HBJ Grand Final - a position they can significantly advance over the next two days as they go head to head with the Canterbury Magicians in two top-of-the-table clashes in Rangiora.

After finishing last in this year’s Dream11 Super Smash, captain Anlo van Deventer says the team is excited to be heading back into their strongest format and won’t have any trouble shrugging off the T20 hoodoo.

"It’s not a strange position for us," she notes. "Two years ago we lost every single game in the Super Smash and yet won the HBJ title, so we know we can do it again.

"The team’s always been good at taking learnings from games and moving on. We just need to come in this weekend with the right mindset, ready to play."

The squad is in for a couple of scorching days in Rangiora where they will play a fresh-look Magicians squad that will also be missing a WHITE FERNS trio in Amy Satterthwaite, Lea Tahuhu and usual captain Frankie Mackay.

The Hinds will meanwhile have frontline bowler Claudia Green coming off a five-wicket bag against the might of England after two NZXI matches, fizzed and ready to step up in Rowe’s stead.

"I was so excited for Claudia, so proud of her taking five big England wickets, and I’m very excited to have her back this weekend," says van Deventer.

"If we can put a dent in the Magicians’ batting line-up early, that will go a long way towards helping us win the game so hopefully with the new ball Claudia will be able to take a few early ones up front and really settle us into the game."

After so much Hawke Cup cricket locally at Mainpower Oval, there should also be opportunities to being more spin into play if, as anticipated, the teams are playing on a used wicket - good news for the likes of the impressive Georgia Atkinson, Mikaela Greig who is finally back from the freak shoulder injury sustained in warm-ups in Dunedin last month, and emerging talent Ashtuti Kumar.

"I know all the girls are really excited to get back together and hopefully everyone can get out there and play with the freedom to show their skills," says van Deventer.

"And, it’s a really great opportunity, with the WHITE FERNS away, for the younger players in the squad to put their best foot forward and try to own one of those spots that are free.

"The Gaging twins are coming along really nicely, and the fact that Kate gets to take the gloves now as well, in Natalie Dodd’s absence, is really exciting for her - she will feel at home in her usual position."

Having played in front of substantial crowds at Hagley Oval and Pukekura Park already this season, there shouldn’t be too many debut jitters for either Anna (a right arm pace bowler) or Kate (wicket-keeper-batsman) in the relatively sedate environs of Rangiora, and van Deventer is confident they will slot into the one-day side with ease.

"Kate’s already shown us a taste of what she can do with the bat in the T20s and we’re really excited to see her get this chance to bat longer in the one-dayers. The silver lining to the fact that we did have a few injuries in the Dream11 Super Smash is that it allowed us to blood in these players earlier than we had expected. It’s worked out as a bonus that Kate and Anna have had game time with us before the HBJ - which is the key campaign for us."

As for the perennial question as to why the Hinds perform so much better in the one-day competition compared to the Super Smash, van Deventer thinks it boils down to the two key factors.

"At the moment we don’t have as much of the explosive power in our squad that other teams have - but we do have real strokemakers; people who are very tactical and really craft an innings. The one-dayer format allows those players to shine.

"Our one-day record also shows the consistency we’ve had with the ball for a long time. Bowlers are put under a lot more pressure in Super Smash with variations, whilst our bowling group’s strong suit is probably more the consistency and ability to execute line and length from balls one to six, rather than variations every ball.

"So I think the one-day format is much more suited to our style of play at the moment and we are looking forward to getting out there again and playing."

Round seven in the 10-game regular season begins at 10am this Saturday, followed by round eight 24 hours later.

The Hinds will then return to Pukekura Park in a three weeks’ time (13 and 14 March 2021) for their final twin rounds against Northern Districts - potentially with a Grand Final spot locked in. All matches are livescored at https://scoring.nzc.nz/centraldistricts.

CENTRAL HINDS SQUAD

ROUNDS 7 and 8

v Canterbury Magicians

Mainpower Oval, Rangiora

Round 7 | 10am - Saturday 20 February

Round 8 | 10am - Sunday 21 February

Admission: free

Anlo van Deventer (c) - Wairarapa

Jess Watkin (v-c) - Manawatu

Georgia Atkinson - Manawatu

Emily Cunningham - Taranaki

Anna Gaging - Nelson - uncapped

Kate Gaging (w) - Nelson - uncapped

Claudia Green - Nelson

Mikaela Greig - Manawatu

Melissa Hansen - Wairarapa

Ashtuti Kumar - Manawatu

Monique Rees - Taranaki

Kerry Tomlinson - Hawke’s Bay

Coach: Jamie Watkins

Assistant Coach: Debu Banik

Unavailable for selection: Natalie Dodd, Hannah Rowe, Rosemary Mair (WHITE FERNS)

Current points: Central Hinds 24, Canterbury Magicians 24, Auckland Hearts 19, Northern Districts 9, Wellington Blaze 9, Otago Sparks 0

Points Awarded: Won - 4, Lost - 0, Tied - 2, No Result - 2, Abandoned - 2, Bonus Point (Run Rate 1.25 x Opponents') - 1

Full schedule: http://www.cdcricket.co.nz/Fanzone-1/Events-whats-on

Livescoring: https://scoring.nzc.nz/centraldistricts

Instagram updates: @CentralHinds

Official hashtags: #HBJSHIELD #CENTRALHINDS

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