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Battle of the Anzacs in a rematch

Thursday 28 April 2011 | Published in Regional

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This Saturday will see a rematch of epic proportions as local expat Kiwis look to defend their Anzac Battle of the Tasman cricket title against the local convict expat Aussie side.

The annual Anzac match was a concept born last year out of a chance conversation between local expats Mike Pynenburg from New Zealand and John Hobbs of Australia.

Having recently arrived on the island, I asked Mike whether anything was generally arranged for Anzac Day, with a view to have a casual barbecue spiced up by some sporting contests between the two nations, said Hobbs.

From there the idea of an Anzac cricket match developed and the inaugural match in 2010 proved to be a fantastic success and offered the opportunity for a bit of friendly sporting rivalry whilst at the same time honouring the Anzac tradition.

After winning the inaugural challenge last year, Kiwi captain Mike Pynenburg feels his team has the perfect blend to repeat that result this weekend.

Again, we have a well rounded team with an evenly balanced side of strong batters, including the big hitting Tom Vea, and a handsome line up of bowlers sure to trouble the weak to average Aussie batting line up, jokes Pynenburg.

Admitting that the Aussie team will be hurt by the recent departure of Tom and Chris Wicks, Hobbs believes that the Aussies have cobbled together a competitive unit to wrest back the Anzac match title.

Only one of our team played locally this year, so we have the element of surprise to our advantage, coyly added Hobbs.

Newcomers to the team include Stuart McPhail from Sydney and two young doctors from Adelaide in Leigh Warren and Simon Harley, whose youthful presence is particularly welcomed by Hobbs.

It will be good to have a bit of youth scurrying around in the outfield while I park myself at first slip, he laughed.

We are up against it, but the unthinkable outcome of losing to the Kiwis in consecutive years will hopefully drive us to success. I might not be let back in the country if we lose again.

If you are interested in watching a fantastic game of cricket played in great spirits and with plenty of friendly banter, then head along to the Anzac Battle of the Tasman match this Saturday from 1pm venue to be advised.