Se­lec­tion for NZ side v Sri Lanka a big step

Hawke's Bay Today - - Sport - NZ XI v Sri Lanka XI McLean Park, Napier Anen­dra Singh

When one door, closes an­other opens and no one will at­test to that more than Hawke’s Bay crick­eter Liam Dud­ding.

Un­able to find trac­tion with the Cen­tral Dis­tricts Stags this sum­mer af­ter four first-class ap­pear­ances and three List A ones since his de­but in March 2016, Dud­ding is over the moon to be se­lected to rep­re­sent the New Zealand XI against their Sri Lanka coun­ter­parts in Napier from to­day.

“It’s an ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­nity to play against an in­ter­na­tional side,” says the 24-year-old Here­taunga Build­ing So­ci­ety Corn­wall premier men’s club right-arm seamer.

“You know, it’s not ev­ery day you get to play against an in­ter­na­tional side so it’s a big step up.”

He con­sid­ers it a priv­i­lege to be tak­ing the new ball for the Glenn Pock­nall-coached, Peter Younghus­band-skip­pered side when play starts at 11am to­day on the re­vamped out­field but a nor­mal wicket at McLean Park.

While gaug­ing his worth against the Sri Lankans, the part-time em­ployee of Napier brew­ery B Stu­dio can’t wait to run on to a park host­ing its first cricket match since the out­field makeover.

The swing merchant says while it was dis­ap­point­ing miss­ing out on the Stags dur­ing their four­day Plun­ket Shield cam­paign he is rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to catch the se­lec­tors’ eye in an elite arena.

Grap­pling with his share of in­jury demons and miss­ing the en­tire 2017-18 sum­mer last year, Dud­ding is back fol­low­ing surgery to his right wrist in March. They were frus­trat­ing times but the bowler played through the pain bar­rier un­til a CT scan re­vealed the frac­ture.

“I haven’t had any trou­bles with the wrist with all that win­ter train­ing and slowly get­ting my­self back into it again.”

North­ern Dis­tricts bats­man Bharat Po­pli was re­called for first­class du­ties and for­mer CD opener Dean Robinson, of New Ply­mouth, re­places him.

In Alexan­dra, the Stags posted a mam­moth to­tal of 511-6 de­clared in 160 overs with cap­tain Greg Hay mak­ing 226 and Kieran Noema-Bar­nett adding 108 runs (short score­board page 18).

NZ XI

■ (in al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der): Max Chu (Otago, wk), Katene Clarke (ND), Blake Coburn (Can­ter­bury), Liam Dud­ding (CD), Luke Ge­orge­son (Wgtn), Brett Hamp­ton (ND), Will O’Don­nell (Akld), San­deep Pa­tel (ND), Dale Phillips (Akld), Dean Robinson (CD), Michael Sned­den (Akld), Peter Younghus­band (Wgtn, c).

Liam Dud­ding

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