Jared McKenzie will captain Southland against Otago Country in the Hawke Cup fixture in Alexandra.
An “underdone” Southland cricket team will take on Otago Country this weekend in an all-important southern Hawke Cup contest in Alexandra.
Southland leads the southern zone after claiming first-innings points in two games played prior to the Christmas-New Year break.
Southland has 16 points, ahead of second-place South Canterbury which sits on 12 points.
Southland coach Steve Jackson admits they head into the two-day fixture at Molyneux Park starting on Saturday underdone in terms of match play given the recent break.
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He said the majority of preparation in recent weeks had been through training in the nets.
Outside of Hamish Cooke, who is unavailable, Jackson has been able to name a largely full-strength lineup for the game against Otago Country.
Spinner Ben Lockrose played for Otago A in a one-day fixture against Canterbury Country on Friday but has been released to line up for Southland against Otago Country.
The winner of the southern zone will advance to a Hawke Cup challenge. Canterbury Country currently hold the Hawke Cup.
A Canterbury Country development team travelled to Invercargill this week to play games against Southland teams made up of largely development players mixed in with some current and past Hawke players.
Canterbury Country won a one-day fixture played on Monday before Jason Osborne starred for Southland in the two-day game to help bank an outright victory.
Osborne scored a century in the first innings and then took a five-wicket bag in Canterbury Country’s second innings to claim outright honours.
Southland team to play Otago Country:
Jared McKenzie (c), Benji Culhane, Brendon Domigan, Sam Downing, Finn Hurley, Kieran Lloyd, Ben Lockrose, Jack Mockford, Amarpreet Singh, Hamish Skelt, Brayden Thomas, Kurt Thompson.