Lisburn ready to face former bowler Nathan Waller

Nathan Waller
Nathan Waller
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As fate would have it, Lisburn have been handed a date with their former bowler Nathan Waller on the opening day of the season at Belmont on Saturday.

The towering Zimbabwean seamer, who left Wallace Park over the winter after a disappointing season, makes his debut for CIYMS in the season-opener.

CI will certainly need him with their other two main seamers, Stephen Dunn and Ryan Butterworth, both unavailable. Dunn is serving a one-match suspension following an incident against Lisburn at the back end of last season while Butterworth has yet to arrive from Zimbabwe because of personal matters.

CI do hand a debut to Rassie van der Dussen, the South African batsman, who will be key to their hopes of launching a title quest similar to the 2012 season.

Lisburn are waiting on the fitness of James Magowan before naming their final eleven. The former Downpatrick captain, who made the switch from Strangford Road over the winter, is nursing a finger injury.

However, captain David Simpson is hopeful the all-rounder will be available.

He said: “I hope James can make a massive contribution this season, I don’t want to put a lot of pressure on him in his first season with us but he’s a very, very talented batter, a good bowler and he’s a good fielder as well.

“I have high hopes for him and I know he has high hopes for himself as well. He wants to get on to playing for the Northern Knights as well this year.”

“Hopefully we can build on what we’ve been doing for the past few seasons,” he said.

Simpson hopes Lisburn can make the breakthrough into the top three. He continued: “We’ve been safely in mid-table for the past couple of years so we want to start pushing on up the table now and get in around the top three or four.

“That would be good progress for us. We still have a really young team. Only three of our guys who will be playing on Saturday will be over 30.

“Hopefully those young guys now have that maturity and we can force our way into the top three.”

After experiencing a cup final last season, when Lisburn lost a thrilling Twenty20 showpiece to North Down, Simpson says Lisburn would dearly love another cup run.

It is certainly not beyond them with Craig Ervine and Darryl Brown capable of winning matches almost on their own. Magowan too is a fine cricketer.

Simpson added: “I think we could be a potentially dangerous cup side.

“We’ve done quite well recently and reached the Twenty20 final last season so hopefully we can give that a good go again.

“We’ve got a tough draw in the Irish Senior Cup, up against Clontarf who won the Leinster League and the Senior Cup last season. They have a number of Irish internationals so that’ll be hard.

“We’ll definitely be giving it a rattle in the Ulster Cup and the NCU Cup.”