Croft continues stunning form
Croft continues stunning form

ALL-ROUNDER Steven Croft is spending the winter months in New Zealand playing for Northern Districts

STEVEN CROFT has continued his stunning start to his winter in New Zealand by helping the Northern Knights to another win.

Here, in his second posting from Seddon Park, the Blackpool-born all-rounder, who is in great form with bat and ball, talks about putting Central Districts to the sword after helping Knights overcome a challenging start to the contest.

He wrote: "The result was a good one for us as we beat Central Districts, who Somerset all rounder Peter Trego was playing for.

"They batted first and made 149. I managed to bowl two overs, getting Jamie How out with my first ball, then in the same over , James Foster stumped Matt Sinclair for my second wicket of the night.

"Then onto the batting. We didn't get off to a great start, losing two early wickets. I came in at No. 4 once again. As I came to the crease, we lost another wicket, which saw captain Scott Styris come to the middle.

"We made a good partnership and ticked the scoreboard along nicely. He was great to bat with; staying calm in the run chase and timing it well. Styris departed in the 40s, which brought James Foster in. He also took the pressure off me as well, playing some great shots and staying cool under pressure. I was really pleased to see the team home with 59 not out and record our second win in a row."

While Croft has been in Hamilton, Lancashire have been busy recruiting some new additions to the squad for next season.

He added: "I'm really pleased to see Simon Katich return to Old Trafford. He is a player of massive quality and I can't wait to get the season started with our new faces around.

"Also having Kabir Ali, we have two great signings with plenty of international and domestic experience.

"I note the lads have started training this week back at OT and I'm sure everyone will  be working hard, as we always do, as a side and also having a bit of fun too."

Croft dazzles on debut

Steven Croft made a stunning start for Northern Districts in New Zealand's Twenty20 competition. The Blackpool-born star has already impressed the Hamilton-based outfit on his debut by helping them beat Otago in their opening contest of the tournament.

Here, in his first diary note, Croft describes how he managed to hit the ground running on the pitch not long after touching down from a long-haul flight to the other side of the world.

"It was a long, gruelling flight which started in Manchester on a Friday morning and ended on the Sunday morning in Auckland.

"I was picked up at the airport by our T20 captain Scott Styris and after a few days training at Seddon Park we had our first game of the campaign against Otago.

"We had some excellent preparation and, in what was such a short space of time, I got to know my new team-mates and the club pretty well.

"From a personal and a team point of view the game went very well. We won by 24 runs and I managed to get 81 with the bat and 0 for 5 off my one over with the ball.

"The team has a great mix of experience and youth. Me and James Foster are the two overseas players in ourT20 squad and in my view he is the best wicketkeeper in the world – we managed to put on 126 runs for the fifth wicket, which I hear is a record.

"It was important for me to put in a valuable performance in my first game for my new side and I felt it helped me to bond with my new team mates .

"The next T20 game is on November 23, also at Seddon park and hopefully the same result will follow. Momentum is a big factor in T20 cricket and hopefully we can get on a roll."

Links: Northern Knights website


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