Southland without Visavadiya for cup defence

Harsh  Visavadiya
Harsh Visavadiya
Southland will be without key batsman batsman Harsh Visavadiya for its Hawke Cup defence against Nelson starting in Invercargill today.

The classy Indian-born player has been suspended for one game for showing dissent during his side's Hawke Cup defence against Mid Canterbury a fortnight ago.

Initially he was handed a one-game suspended sentence but New Zealand Cricket appealed the decision and he will miss the game against Nelson.

It is a significant setback for Southland. Visavadiya has been in good nick.

He became the fourth Southland batsman to score a double century in a Hawke Cup game when he posted 223 against North Otago in Invercargill in December.

That innings went some way towards making up for the disappointment of being dismissed on 199 during a Hawke Cup fixture against South Canterbury the previous season.

Southland will still have plenty of talent to call on. All-rounder Jason Domigan has oodles of experience, while former Otago batsman Ryan Duffy has a first-class hundred to his name.

Teenage spinner Ben Lockrose has had a handful of opportunities for Otago and the left-armer appears to have a promising future.

Nelson has named a strong side featuring three Central Districts representatives.

Captain Greg Hay scored a double century against Otago at Molyneux Park in December and the veteran batsman is determined to capture the Hawke Cup for the first time in his lengthy career.

He is joined by Stags spinner Felix Murray and all-rounder Willem Ludick.

Ludick, who is remembered for that over in which he conceded a list A world-record 43 runs, will add value with both the ball and bat. Despite that rather expensive spell, he is a very talented player.

Southland fended off Mid Canterbury in its first defence of the summer two weeks ago. But Nelson shapes as much tougher opponent. The zone three winner brushed aside Marlborough to earn the challenge.

Hawke Cup 

Southland v Nelson 

Queen’s Park, Invercargill, starts today, 10.30am

Southland: Shaun Fitzgibbon (captain), Jason Domigan, Ryan Duffy, Venkat Kotte, Ben Lockrose, Jared McKenzie, Jack Mockford, James Ng, Jason Osborne, Amarpreet Singh, Hamish Skelt, Danyn Stewart.

Nelson: Greg Hay (captain), Sam Baxendine, Nic Clark, Paddy Howes, Willem Ludick, Felix Murray, Jarrod McKay, Josh Newport, Devon Serrurier, Ben Stark, David Zohrab, Thomas Zohrab.

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