North Otago set for Southland

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North Otago are all set to begin their Hawke Cup campaign as they play host to Southland at the Whitestone Contracting Stadium this weekend.

The squad was named on Wednesday evening, with three Hawke Cup debutants in Nathan Smith, Gary Mahuika and Francois Mostert.

Skipper Ben Cant said there was more depth in this year’s squad and praised the newcomers’ performances to warrant selection.

“Gary (Mahuika) pretty much picked himself with the performances he’s produced,” he said.

“Jeremy (Smith) has a bit of a back niggle but he’ll fill in that all-rounder spot at eight.”

“Southland traditionally are a good bowling side. Nathan’s bowled well recently and it’ll help his progression.

“I think we’ve got where everyone’s match ready. I think this year we’re better suited.”

This weekend’s fixture:

North Otago vs Southland, 10.30pm, Whitestone Contracting Stadium.

North Otago: Ben Cant (capt), Jeremiah Shields, Gary Mahuika, Stephan Grobler, Duncan Drew, Francois Mostert, Sean Conlan (wkt), Jeremy Smith, Nathan Smith, Jordan Horrell, Chris Ware

By JAMES FORD

PHOTO: JAMES FORD

Stephan Grobler in action during North Otago’s preseason clash with Mid Canterbury at King George Park.