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Opener in form

By GREG WHITE

A PROMOTION to opening batsman has raised the confidence of Nana Glen wicketkeeper Adrian Craig.

Normally slotting into the middle order, Craig puts his new found stability down to the backing of last weekend's stand in skipper, Matt Andrews.

"Frankly, I was quite surprised he gave me such praise in the newspaper," Craig said.

"It was nice of him and I feel humble."

Rather than steal the limelight, Craig sees his role as a support to the established batsmen.

"Matt can play shots as he's a natural and it's my job to be fairly flexible," he said.

"Hold up an end and grab the loose one's when presented."

After starting the game with many of his current team mates, Craig took an extended break from cricket.

"I drifted away for 12 years, as you do when you're younger," Craig said of his years in obscurity.

"When Nana Glen came back to A grade, Andrew Mainey was among the first to work on my confidence.

"Till now I haven't felt fully at ease but a bit of success has changed that."

Asked to run the rule over the opposing teams and players, Craig feels no one should underestimate the power of Sawtell.

"The premiers have had a dream start and they can fight back when they find trouble," he said.

Among the opposing batsmen he sees the return of Craig Howarth as significant and believes Daryl Parmenter adds an extra dimension to Coffs Hotel Tigers.

"The Tigers started slowly but are still a dark horse," he believes.

"Having Daryl there would give anybody fresh hope."

Craig's aim is to keep contributing to the rise of Nana Glen.

"I know my role," he said.

"All I can ask is to keep batting to the best of my ability."