Cricket: Bay plenty motivated with Rosebowl on the line

By Barry Leabourn

There is likely to be no quarter asked for or given, when Bay of Plenty front up in their last Fergus Hickey Rosebowl game of the season against archrivals Hamilton this weekend.

Revenge will certainly be on the agenda of the Waikato side after they were put to the sword by the Bay in late January. The Bay team not only grabbed the Hawke Cup from their long-time rivals, but also posted a new Hawke Cup record when they blasted 701 runs in their only innings.

However, the Bay team will also have plenty of motivation and will only need to recall the first meeting between the two sides in the annual ND one-day tournament held in November 2012. The Duckworth Lewis system of deciding rain-affected matches came into play and Hamilton scrambled home to give the Bay the first of just two defeats this season.

While Bay of Plenty head up the Fergus Hickey standings with one round remaining, lurking just behind the Bay is Northland, who are the only other team to defeat the Bay in 11 games this season. Victory against Hamilton should add the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl to the Brian Dunning (one-day) trophy won in January.

In tandem with the unprecedented run of form has come several new records. In the Hawke Cup victory over Hamilton, the all time highest total was smashed twice in the encounter. Joe Carter sailed past the previous highest score set by Simon Winter of 181, when he blasted 189, however, the record lasted less than a couple of hours when Brett Hampton set a new mark of 194.

Two Bay of Plenty batsmen are involved in a dogfight to finish the season as the Bay's leading run scorer. Bharat Popli, who has six centuries for the Bay to his name, narrowly leads the way with 680 runs from Carter on 673, with two games remaining in the season. The most wickets in a season record of 33 set by Jono Boult last season is under threat, with strike bowler Tony Goodin currently sitting on 30 bowling scalps.

Fergus Hickey Rosebowl

Bay of Plenty v Hamilton, March 2-3

BOP: Peter Drysdale (captain) Joe Carter, Bharat Popli, Tom MacRury, Scott Steward, Mitch McCann, Tim Clarke, Sean Davey, Tony Goodin, Tommy Clout, Mike Jones, Peter Wood.

Points: Bay of Plenty 31, Northland 29, Hamilton 25, Counties Manukau 15, Waikato Valley 5, Poverty Bay 4.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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