Hereworth game a big hit

By Patrick o'Sullivan

Yesterday's Twenty20 celebrity cricket match at Hereworth School in Havelock North was such a hit it may become a regular event.

While laughter from the field and applause from the marquee nearly threatened to drown out the chorus of the cicadas, the action remained intense.

Hereworth old boy and captain of the Hawke's Bay cricket team, James De Terte, said it was very competitive.

"It always will be with the type of players we have out there," he said.

Hereworth's director of Sport Lincoln Doull said the idea that the school should host a top-class cricket game had "taken off".

"It [Hereworth] has always been strong in cricket and its traditions - it seemed like the right thing to do."

The Heartland Building Society and Williams Warn teams were a combination of schoolboys, celebrities and cricket fans like Tundy Petrie of Masterton, whose place on the team was a Christmas present from his wife.

TV presenter, businessman, ex-All Back and rugby league player Marc Ellis hit 11 sixes and scored 118 runs. He said accepting the invitation was easy.

"They're playing a game of cricket," he said. With friends and family in Hawke's Bay, he was "always looking for an excuse to visit".

Ex-Tall Black and TV presenter Brendon Pongia was invited to play by Napier MP Chris Tremain.

"I've never played much cricket and it's a good opportunity to get alongside some of the greats of New Zealand cricket and see how good I am - or how bad I am."

Williams Warn successfully chased down 238 runs to claim victory.

The event was expected to break even, with gate takings being donated to St John.

Cricket legend Mark Greatbatch said it had been fantastic event.

"We had a coaching session this morning for 30-40 kids from different schools - it was great."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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