Cricket: Diack's game to chew humble pie

By Anendra Singh

In jest, people have accused George Diack of eating a lot of things over the years, thus the nickname of Georgie Pie.

Now you can add to the portly allrounder's list sour grapes.

While Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB) had beaten Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay by four wickets in the opening round of the one-day premier men's club competition at Nelson Park, Napier, on Saturday, NTOB skipper Diack was more preoccupied with casting his mind back to the previous round before Christmas at Ongaonga Domain.

"I had sour grapes. We wanted to go to that tournament pretty badly," he said after NTOB lost the New Zealand Club Championship qualifying match against CHB near Waipukurau, in the previous round.

"There are no ill feelings because they outplayed us on a used pitch that we had to play on," he said after CHB booked a play-off against Wairarapa qualifiers Lansdowne at Ongaonga Domain late this month.

At the crux of that defeat was the employment of the Duckworth-Lewis Method after rain kicked in following a challenging total from the hosts as they went on to bowl the minimum 20 overs to constitute a game before the umpires abandoned play.

After that match, Diack had also ploughed into the wicket, labelling it "10 days old".

"Please publish this. CHB are doing a great job but we were dealt a certain number of cards and we played to the cards because that's cricket.

"I'll be backing CHB to win the club championship in Auckland and they are the side to beat this summer," Diack said amid some flak from certain quarters about his rancid remarks.

That off his chest, Diack said their victory on Saturday was a "bit of a revenge match".

Having won the toss, he again elected to bowl as 2012-13 English-style 120-over one-day champions NTOB restricted CHB to 191 all out in 44 overs.

Opener Henry Hunter top scored with 44 runs while club champs century maker James Mackie could only add 26 after Diack had him caught and bowled.

CHB had a flying start, carving up 120 after 15 overs but all the NTOB bowlers worked collectively despite a dropped catch on the boundary.

The hosts didn't waste time overhauling their target with 192 from 33.3 overs.

No 5 Christian Purchass knocked up 44 from 36 balls while Diack added 49 from 60 balls.

CHB captain Scott Schaw said his team were not playing like the side to beat.

"We're not standing up as the best side because our bowling, batting and even fielding were not good enough so we let it slip today," Schaw said, lamenting the attitude of some of his troops who thought they could roll up to the park to collect the points.

While CHB players were asked to train individually over the Christmas break, Schaw said it was painfully obvious they had lacked the discipline because it showed after just one training last Thursday night.

Conversely, Cornwall Cricket Club director of cricket David Black pointed out he had to cut short his Christmas break in Taupo because captain Jacob Smith and his men wanted to train.

The result, Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall beat The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist (NOBM) by 71 runs on the adjacent Nelson Park pitch.

The visitors amassed 215-9 in 50 overs with No 9 Charlie Crasborn top scoring with 56 runs, Smith adding 45 and St John's College schoolboy Campbell McLeod chiming in with an unbeaten 30 at No 8.

Wicketkeeper Campbell, on debut with Seb Langridge and Michael Taiaroa playing in the New Zealand Provincial A Tournament in Christchurch for the past week, forged an eight-wicket partnership of 87 runs with Crasborn returning from a broken wrist and a few games with the seniors. NOBM's Jack Ward took 2-26, Bevan Quinn 3-41 and Scott Gibson 2-19.

In reply, NOBM were 144 all out in 39 overs with No 4 Ward making 41 runs and No 11 Quinn adding 20.

John Jowsey claimed 3-27, Jayden Wiggins 2-27 and Crasborn 2-20.

"We're happy with some good youngsters coming through after recruiting some boys from schools," NOBM coach Tony Pothan said.

On a day when all premier matches were played at the same venue, Havelock North CC beat Taradale CC by 64 runs.

The villagers were all out for 195 with 27 balls remaining in their innings as veteran Al Sahariar Rokon scored an unbeaten 100, from 113 balls including 14 fours, and No 10 Jeremy Ketel adding 17 in a partnership of 80 with the No 6 batsman.

Medium pacer Eddie Torr claimed 3-37 from 10 overs, retired Hawke's Bay representative skipper James De Terte took 3-39 from 7.3 overs while Sam Niblett nailed 2-39 from eight.

In reply, Taradale were 131 all out in 35 overs with No 4 Callum Hewetson scoring 40 runs but No 7 Mark Harris eclipsing him with 46.

"Callum had five dropped catches with two tough caught-and-bowled ones and the others in the slips," Havelock captain Todd Astill said.

Brendon Bracewell Academy player Mark Taylor, of England, took 3-17 from seven overs, including a maiden, with his left-arm quick deliveries.

Veteran Jared Priest claimed 4-28 from 10 overs, including two maidens, while Ketel took 2-42 from eight overs, including two maidens.

Astill was delighted with Taylor's stint after losing the services of Australian Tom Dunne, who returned home on Christmas Eve.

Taylor, who started his season with NTOB prems, found himself among the senior ranks due to a glut of seamers at the top level.

Craig Findlay, with the blessing of guardian Brendon Bracewell, made sure the academy player was moved to the villagers where he got premier game time.

"Taylor deserves to be playing at premier level," Astill said, hanging out for a bonus point from Saturday's win but not sure if the rules still reward a team for restricting the opposition to below 80 per cent of the victors' total.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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