Cricket: Gritty Wairarapa spoil party

By Anendra Singh

It's the sort of thing that makes the beers taste a little more bitter after two days of hard yakka in the unrepentant sun beating down on you.

With one wicket to fall for the maximum 10 points some bloke decides to dig his toes in to take the gloss off an outright victory in a Hawke Cup qualifying match.

Alas, the Jacob Smith-skippered Pay Excellence Hawke's Bay senior men's representative team had to settle for seven points.

Bend their backs as much as they did, rubbing the ball into their sweat and mud-stained whites, Wairarapa No 3 batsman Harry Clinton-Baker stood in total defiance to deny the Bay a glorious finish yesterday at Nelson Park, Napier, with an unbeaten 101 runs.

"It would have been good to get the extra three points but it didn't happen," Bay coach Lincoln Doull said last night after the hosts skittled Wairarapa 126 on Saturday.

Having won the toss, Smith had the visitors padding up and proceeded to lead by example in taking 4-17 from 12 overs.

Fellow Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall Cricket Club player Ben Jackett and Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay spinner Angus Schaw claimed two scalps each in the first innings.

Teenagers Ben Stoyanoff, of Taradale CC, and Cornwall's Jack Arnall took a wicket each.

In reply, Hawke's Bay declared at 356-6 after carrying on from 220-2 overnight on the foundation of Cornwall batsman Taiaroa's superb innings, only his second at the level. His first ton, according to Doull, came in a one-day Kirk Cup match about three summers ago.

"Mikey batted exceptionally well. He simply knuckled in and built partnerships before hitting shots all around the park," the coach said, unable to provided details of boundaries and sixes after the book was closed at the HBCA office and the CrickHQ website took the stance of Clinton-Baker.

Doull said his men had bent their backs for 104 overs on a Nelson Park wicket that had flattened out considerably.

"I couldn't have asked for more but we just couldn't get that last wicket."

He, Smith and the boys had resigned to the fact that it was always in the interest of the Sam Curtis-coached Wairarapa to dig their toes in and they had done exactly that, albeit by the skin of their teeth, with aplomb.

Doull said Jackett bowled exceptionally well in the second dig, taking six wickets for 19 runs.

"It was a pretty difficult task to ask them to bowl them out twice to take 20 wickets," he said, adding the green tinge present on day one had lost its sheen in the sun.

"Jake [Smith] did a fantastic job leading the boys, considering he didn't have James de Terte helping him out."

The Bay play Manawatu in a do-or-die match on January 12-13 in Palmerston North.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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