Latham signs as Saltires bid to end losing run

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NEW Zealand star Tom Latham will make his Saltires debut as Preston Mommsen’s men bid to end a four-game losing sequence against Essex tomorrow.

Top order batsman Latham last night finally signed a deal which will see him playing in the remaining eight matches of Scotland’s final YB40 campaign.

The 21-year-old left-hander has played in eight ODIs for the Black Caps and famously skippered their second string to victory over England earlier this year.

He was due to join the Saltires at the start of the season but the deal fell through when Latham was included in the New Zealand squad for their Test series in England.

Saltires coach Pete Steindl declared: “We’re delighted to get Tom on board.

“He will add real value in the top order and we have a specific role for him in the team.

“Although he is still young, Tom has a lot more big-game experience than a lot of our guys and I’m sure that will help us.” While Latham comes in, Majid Haq and Richie Berrington drop out through injury and illness respectively but the remainder of the squad who featured in last weekend’s defeats by Derbyshire and Surrey retain their places.

Meanwhile, Preston Mommsen admits he is desperate to mastermind a first win since being appointed captain at the start of the campaign.

The Carlton batsman has already scored two half-centuries but has yet to savour that first elusive victory and he admitted: “I sometimes do wonder where it’s going to come from. But I’m confident there will be a day when we put everything together and get over the line.

“Even with a pretty inexperienced side we’ve shown we can compete at this level and we just have to keep performing to the best of our ability.”

Latham’s Kiwi team-mate Hamish Rutherford, who has played for Ayr and Stenhousemuir, is expected to make his debut for Essex.

SQUAD: P Mommsen (c), C Burnett, E Chalmers, F Coleman, M Cross, G Drummond, G Goudie, M Iqbal, T Latham, M Leask, C MacLeod, D Nel.