TPL final preview
The cricket season reaches its denouement on Saturday as The Car Company Stoke Nayland go toe to toe with the Dolphins in the TPL final at Horton Park in Blenheim. Both teams are worthy finalists as they have produced consistent form throughout the competition and been the front runners from start to finish.
The Dolphins were the top qualifiers and have rightly earned the home ground advantage. In Prabodha Arthavidu and Josh Poole they have a couple of the best-performed batsmen in the league as they have consistently been amongst the runs. There is depth with the well-performed opener Luke Frankland and Jack Holdaway who have also had strong seasons. Jerrym Lamb though will be sorely missed, with both bat and ball, as he has to focus on the harvest. The Dolphins will also be without Corey Bovey who is opting to don the rugby boots rather than the cricket ones.
The bowling will revolve around Ben Blackman and Arthavidu but without Lamb though others will need to step up.
The Car Company Stoke Nayland appear to be at full noise. They had contrasting victories last weekend and are on a roll. They will be looking to add this last piece of silverware to complete the clean sweep for the season. There should be runs aplenty with Darius Skeaping and Paddy Howes both in good nick. A special shout out has to go to Ben Homan who was largely instrumental in his team making this final. Last weeks effort in the semi was exceptional and he backed it up again in the Nelson final on Sunday. He has shown he has an appetite for the special occasion so get on Homan to be the top run scorer in the big dance. There is plenty of run-scoring back up too as allrounders Ben Stark, Tim O’Connor, Samuel Chamberlain, and Dylan Eginton all know which end of a bat to hold. Keeper Ricky Edwards comes from pretty good batting stock and he too will relish the occasion. Kurt Pahl can’t get much worse and of course, mention must be made of experienced skipper Brendan Hodgson. He will have an effect on the outcome either through runs scored or astute captaincy.
The visitors bowling attack is extremely well balanced as well with a raft of mediums and the left arm spin of Howes. While the Dolphins have been the top team throughout the season, the vital loss of Lamb, combined with the Car Company Stoke Nayland’s nous and ability to win the big ones may just see the trophy slipping over this side of the Whangamoa’s.
The Car Company Stoke Nayland: Brendan Hodgson ©, Darius Skeaping, Kurt Pahl, Patrick Howes, Ricky Edwards, Ben Homan, Samuel Chamberlain, Dylan Eginton, Tim O’Connor, Ben Stark, Mark Mekalick.
Dolphins: Luke Frankland, Hayden Gauden, Prabodha Arthavidu, Josh Poole, Tom Sutherland, Jack Holdaway, Ben Blackman, Kirk Nicholas, Liam Young, Logan Robinson, Akhil Bhardvaj, Ben Holdaway (12th man)