The Canterbury Wizards liked what they saw when they got a possible glimpse into the future today.
Three raw but talented youngsters played the leading roles as the Wizards beat the Central Stags by 66 runs in their opening Ford Trophy one-day competition match of the season at Rangiora.
Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Matt Henry stepped up to the plate at MainPower Oval; wicketkeeper Latham scoring a career best 78 in just his fifth match, Nicholls posting a feisty 74 not out on debut, and fast-medium merchant Henry marking his first domestic one-day match by claiming four wickets.
Latham and Nicholls were principally responsible for the Wizards posting a very healthy 268 for seven, then Henry took four for 25 off eight overs to help dismiss the Stags for 202 in 45 overs.
Latham and Henry offered the Wizards substance after they batted first and quickly slipped to six for two when another debutant Joel Abraham and the experienced Peter Fulton both fell for ducks.
George Worker and Latham turned things around to add 95 for the third wicket before Worker departed for a neat 50 off 86 balls then Latham and Nicholls put their heads together to add another 94.
The stand ended when Latham was dismissed for 78 off 89 balls, with eight fours and one six, one of two wickets claimed by former Dutch international Peter Borren.
Andrew Ellis chipped in with a chirpy 25 but it was largely left to Nicholls to provide the bulk of the runs as he ended on 74, scored off 81 balls and containing only four fours.
The Stags threatened for a period and looked likely at 144 for two in the 30th over but their hopes stalled with a one-two knockout blow as Mathew Sinclair and Ben Smith departed in a short space of time.
Sinclair made 60 off 71 balls before legspinner Todd Astle had him caught by Ryan McCone, then Smith’s patient innings ended at 54 off 93 balls when he hit a ball from Henry to Logan van Beek.
Henry accounted for both Kruger van Wyk and Kieran Noema-Barnett at cheap cost as the Stags fell further behind at 175 for six and the end came quickly.
Aside from Henry, others who could fell pleased with their work with the ball were McCone, who took two for 40 off his full complement, and Ellis, who ended with two for 36 off his 10.