Band of brothers

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They call the wicketkeeper the drummer in the band.
If Francois Mostert is the charismatic frontman, Ben Cant is the prolific lead guitarist, Stephan Grobler and Duncan Drew form the steady rhythm section, and Hamish McMurdo is the head roadie, Andrew Grubb is the drummer of the North Otago cricket band.
The 19-year-old wicketkeeper has quietly performed his duties in a team that has bestrode the Hawke Cup stage like a mega-group this summer.
Grubb has been tidy behind the stumps and chipped in with two useful innings with the bat, 23 and 17, at No 10 in the Hawke Cup victory over Buller.
“It’s just been a great experience to be a part of it,” he told the Oamaru Mail.
“The plan all season has been to win the cup, so it was really good to accomplish that.”Defending the cup against Hawkes Bay this weekend would require a “totally different’ mindset, Grubb said.
It is back on to the Milner Park grass after the unusual experience of playing on the artificial pitch in Westport, and the North Otago players do not need to look far for some guidance as to how it might play.
Grubb works in Dunedin for Delta, and among his workplaces have been the University Oval and various club cricket grounds.
He is halfway through a turf management course, having developed an interest in the subject through playing cricket and golf, but is not sure where he wants his career to take him.
Grubb, who plays his club cricket for Taieri and is an old boy of East Otago High School, has relished being part of a North Otago team that has set high standards for fielding.
He has also enjoyed playing his role in helping a bowling attack led by Mostert that has dominated this summer.
“It’s great keeping to all of our quality bowlers, but especially someone like Frank,” he said.
“He has that extra pace and knows where to hit the spot to get batsmen out.”The remarkable Mostert has taken 48 wickets this season, obliterating his own North Otago record of 29.
Another team-mate, Cant, has scored 402 runs this season and is one good innings away from breaking the North Otago record of 460, set by Jarrod Waldron eight years ago.
Individual records, however, are secondary to North Otago’s overriding goal this weekend. The Penguins long to become the first team from the province to defend the Hawke Cup.
Equally, Hawkes Bay longs to take the cup back north, and there is no doubt the visiting side will present a formidable challenge.
North Otago players have taken the trophy around schools over the last two weeks, and having the Hawke Cup has been a huge boost for the sport in the province.
The task now is to produce another top-drawer performance to keep the good times going.

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