ND Renovates Team For Plunket Shield Do Or Die
Friday 1 April 2011, 4:29PM
The Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights will head to Rangiora to try to beat the Canterbury Wizards for the 2011 Plunket Shield without the services of their regular captain and with a first-class debutant on the plane.
Captain James Marshall is unavailable for the do-or-die final round against the new table-toppers as he has a prior engagement: his wedding. While Marshall prepares for his own big day, the side will be led by Brad Wilson, who has already stepped in to lead several times this summer.
The match begins on Monday and the Knights must win outright if they are to retain the Plunket Shield for a third year in a row - and must also count on the Central Stags failing to obtain an eight-point outright in their match with the bottom-of-the-table Auckland Aces. Both teams are on 29 points, with the Wizards out on 33.
Batsman Brook Hatwell will return to the team in Marshall's stead, having last played three weeks ago in the side's narrow loss to Auckland. Young seamer James Baker is unavailable due to fitness and has been replaced by the experienced Bradley Scott.
To provide another spin bowling option, Hamilton Boys' High School student Joe Walker also comes into the squad for the first time. Walker recently took ten wickets in a match when Hamilton successfully challenged Marlborough for the Hawke Cup in Blenheim.
The Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights will also join the Canterbury Wizards for a fun afternoon training session with young cricket players at Hagley Park on Sunday from 2-4pm. There is no charge and children of all ages are welcome to attend. There will be plenty of giveaways plus a BBQ. Due to the earthquake, Canterbury Cricket had to cancel the remainder of their club and school matches, so the afternoon has been put together to ensure they still get to enjoy as much cricket as possible.
The Yahoo!Xtra Northern Knights squad for the final round of the 2011 Plunket Shield:
Brad Wilson, Northland
Graeme Aldridge, BOP
Brent Arnel, Counties Manukau
Jono Boult, BOP
Trent Boult, BOP
Jason Donnelly, BOP
Daniel Flynn, BOP
Brook Hatwell, Hamilton
Hamish Marshall, Overseas Player
Peter McGlashan, Counties Manukau
Bradley Scott, Waikato Valley
Joe Walker, Hamilton
BJ Watling, Hamilton