Notes from the slip, January 26th

Hitting the mark
The test team for the series against South Africa will be announced today.
Coach Gary Stead was confident Kane Williamson will be fit. If Williamson is ruled out, though, it would conveniently solve the problem of how to get Rachin Ravindra into the side without dropping anyone.
He has to play, surely. So if Kane is fit, is Devon Conway under pressure? He has been in scratchy form of late.
Maybe Henry Nicholls’ charmed run will come to an end.
He did not score any runs in Bangladesh either.
Wicketkeeper Tom Blundell is battling a hamstring complaint which could mean a test debut for Central Districts gloveman Dane Cleaver or Auckland’s Cam Fletcher.
Glenn Phillips would seemingly have the all-rounder’s spot sewn up following his performances in Bangladesh.
That will make it harder for left arm spinner Mitchell Santner to get a start. Here’s the team we think will line up for the first test at Bay Oval on February 4: Conway, Tom Latham, Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Ravindra, Tom Blundell, Phillips, Kyle Jamieson, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Neil Wagner. 
Naseer Khan
Naseer Khan
Crease bound
The Mankad. Discuss. Again. The old debate emerged following the New Zealand team’s tense one-wicket win against Afghanistan at the under-19 World Cup this week.
Matt Rowe, who took a five-for in the game, hit the winning shot.
But outrageously/acceptably Ewald Schreuder was run-out at the non-strikers end the ball prior.
Notes from Slip’s view has always been if you are going to try and get a head start and you are run out this way, fair enough.
But young Ewald was not doing that. He just took his eye off the bowler for a second and step out of his crease and into the trap set by the nefarious skipper, Naseer Khan, who had hatched a dastardly plan completely within the rules of the game. There is a lesson here — stay in your crease.
But that was arguably the most cold-blooded act since Jaws tried to take a bite out of those swimmers. 
Clubbing it
Otago were competitive at the national men’s under-17 competition at Lincoln in the past week or so.
They drew both two-day games and suffered close losses in their two one-day matches.
Three Otago players finished in the top 10 scorers — Jack Kelly (219 at 43.80), Hugo Bogue (202 at 50.50) and Ashton Hansen (192 at 38.40) — while Luke Murray was the fourth-equal leading wicket-taker with 10 at 11.80. 
The declaration
Northern Districts batted well and booked a place in today’s Super Smash elimination final with a 22-run (DLS method) win against the Otago Sparks in Dunedin on Tuesday. But, in 20 years of covering cricket, Notes from Slip has never seen such a basic blunder by the umpires.
The game finished more than half an hour early because they miscalculated the time left and reduced the game by too many overs.
They owned up to cutting the game short by four overs, but they could have got more overs in than just four in the remaining time available I believe.