Ronchi signs for Somerset

2015-06-18 12:30
Luke Ronchi (AFP)

London - New Zealand wicket-keeper/batsman Luke Ronchi will play five domestic Twenty20 fixtures for Somerset, the English county announced on Thursday.

Ronchi, currently taking part in the World Cup finalists one-day series with England, is a replacement at Taunton for compatriot Corey Anderson, whose tour was cut short by a back injury.

The 34-year-old Ronchi, a dynamic batsman and reliable gloveman, helped New Zealand reach the final of this year's 50-over World Cup, where they were beaten by fellow co-hosts Australia in Melbourne.

"Luke is a quality player with plenty of international experience," said Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard.

"He is an excellent wicket-keeper, an explosive batsman, and I am sure our members and supporters will enjoy the brand of cricket that he plays," the former England batsman added.

Ronchi will be available to play his first match for Somerset against Middlesex next week after the conclusion of New Zealand's tour of England.

He has a tough act to follow as Somerset's overseas player, with West Indies batsman Chris Gayle having thrilled fans of the west country club in a brief but memorable stint before heading off to this season's edition of the Twenty20 Caribbean Premier League.

Gayle compiled 328 runs in just three Twenty20 Blast innings for Somerset, with his lowest score 85 not out against Hampshire.

The highlight of the 35-year-old big-hitting left-hander's time at Taunton was a remarkable innings of 151 not out off just 62 balls on home debut against Kent last month.

Gayle, one of the most feared ball-strikers in the game today, hit 10 fours and 15 sixes during the course of a whirlwind innings at the County Ground.

Yet Kent still came away with a three-run win after they defended a total of 227 for seven that featured captain Sam Northeast's 114.

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