Country Wests Steve Nicholls narrowly misses a return from the out field.
Country Wests Steve Nicholls narrowly misses a return from the out field. Rob Barich

Wests wary of clash on wet wicket

 

COUNTRY Wests captain-coach Travis Henke has warned his batting order to rein it in as the team prepares for battle with Twenty20 Cup champions Across The Waves.

Across The Waves will take to the Salter Oval pitch with an extra spring in their step after wrestling the championship trophy from Brothers last weekend.

Henke said his batting order needed to take a cautious approach at the wicket to ensure they do not suffer a similar fate.

“I want the guys to play their shots wisely and take it easy out there,” he said.

“We're not going to be able to afford to give away any silly wickets.”

With recent rain taking its toll on a sodden Salter Oval pitch, Henke said now was the time to bat defensively.

Also weighing on his mind has been the recent form of Across The Waves spin specialists Chris Duff, Lachlan Donovan and Sean Stuchbery.

“It's going to be a tricky wicket and they have a few dangerous bowlers so we're going to have to pace ourselves,” he said.

“It's about being there for the long haul rather than being flamboyant.”

Country Wests will be without the services of opening batsman Scott Irwin who will be sidelined with a dislocated finger.

Helping to fill the void will be new recruit Mike Humphries who proved his mettle in the Twenty20 Cup preliminary final last weekend.

“There's a lot of natural ability there and he's got the dedication and perseverance there to back it up,” Henke said.

“I think he's going to be quite handy for us.”

Henke said the 50-over showdown would be a testing of the waters for his team after a changing of the guard at the end of last season.

“It's going to be a good indication of how we're going and the guys are ready to knuckle down and get stuck into it,” he said.

Country Wests will play Across The Waves from 10am tomorrow at Salter Oval.



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