Johnson gets chance at No3 for N. Otago

North Otago, with a first-innings win over Otago Country in the first Hawke Cup zone four game in Alexandra last month, will travel to Aorangi Park, Timaru, to play Mid Canterbury this weekend.

North Otago coach Peter Cartwright has made three changes to the original team named against Otago Country.

Lewie Johnson, a talented young batsman, will come in at three below the openers, Jeremiah Shields and Lachlan Kingan. Shields is coming off a fine century against Otago Country.

Tom Dempster bolsters the middle order while Mason James joins the bowling line-up.

Mid Canterbury will be playing its first Hawke Cup match for the season after the first-round game against South Canterbury, due to be played in Timaru last month, was abandoned because of flooding.

All Mid Canterbury's home games will this season be played at Timaru's Aorangi Park.

Mid Canterbury lost its opening away game against Otago Country at Molyneux Park last weekend. Batting first, Mid Canterbury made 327 in its first innings with Angus Jemmett (108) and Archie Redfern (94) producing a record second-wicket stand of 176 runs against Otago Country.

However Redfern is likely a non-starter this weekend because of a knee injury.

Otago Country, chasing Mid Canterbury's 327, made 331 for eight to take first-innings points, with Tim McCormick unbeaten on 146.

Batsman Devon Flannery, and Tom Middleton, a bowler, are making their debuts this weekend.

Only four of the 10 zone-four elimination games have been played. Next weekend Southland hosts South Canterbury, the following weekend February 1-2, North Otago hosts South Canterbury and Southland meets Otago Country .A fortnight later, South Canterbury hosts Otago Country and North Otago plays Southland in Oamaru while the final game, on February 22-23, Mid Canterbury plays Southland in Timaru.

North Otago v Mid Canty

Timaru, this weekend
North Otago: Jeremiah Shields (c), Lachlan Kingan, Scott  Kitto, Llew Johnson, Jeremy Smith, Tom Dempster, Duncan Drew, Harry Semple, Mason James, Cameron Grubb, Blake James.
Mid Canterbury:  James Southby (c), Devon Flannery, Will Graham, Jay Houston, Angus Jemmett, Cameron Johnston, Des Kruger, Tom Middleton, William Southby, Shaun Stagg, Matt Tait.

 - Terry O'Neill

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