Cricket: Delight at record knock shared

By Anendra Singh

It was an afterthought from schoolboy cricketer Dominic Thompson but an interesting one nonetheless.

"Another thing, Laver and Wood just fixed my bat last week so they've done well. Cheers, Dom," the Lindisfarne First XI right-hand batsman said in his text message after scoring an unbeaten 205 on Saturday to smash the record of the highest individual innings registered at Cornwall Park, Hastings.

While the quality of a bat is significant, what matters most is the person holding it and his belief in getting the job done soon after asking for middle and leg.

"I just played with a bit of luck, a good outfield and short boundaries," Thompson said after carving up 14 boundaries and a dozen sixes from 132 balls in the Hastings school's 161-run victory.

Lindisfarne amassed 370-3 in the second top-tier 45-over match before skittling CHB for 209 all out in the 37th over.

Actually Thompson got lucky three times when the CHB fielders dropped him.

The first time was when he got past 50 runs at cover and twice after he scored his ton at midwicket and deep midwicket, respectively.

Needless to say, even the best batsmen in the world, including South Africa No3 Hashim Amla who scored his 19th ton against the Black Caps last Friday, will embrace such luck to make teams pay on their way to centuries.

"It was quite hot but we had a few extra drinks breaks," he said of his maiden three-figure score at school level on a 30-plus day although he has scored centuries for his Hawke's Bay under-16 and under-17 teams.

Coming in at No3 in the 11th over, Thompson carried his bat through the innings.

The Central Districts under-17 representative, who will be a year 13 pupil this year before going to university to pursue a degree in commerce, will be heading for Lincoln, Christchurch, for the nationals from January 18-25.

Lindisfarne coach Matt Kidd was delighted with Thompson's knock.

The teenager's father, veterinarian Bart Thompson, also watched with interest on the sideline.

"He was there but he had to rush off a couple of times to do some vet work although he did see me make my hundred and two hundred," said Thompson.

Kidd said the score was an individual record and maiden double ton for the integrated Hastings boys' school.

The previous record-holder at the park, Lloyd Singleton, who ironically was dropped twice between 83 and 100, congratulated Thompson.

"It's fantastic, I'm thrilled for the young fellow because 200 is a big score," said the 71-year-old retired Hastings sharebroker and investment adviser who scored 201 in 1964 in the two-day "senior" [the top grade in those days but premier nowadays] match for Old Boys' Hastings against arch-rivals Whakatu Mahora to claim his maiden century as a sprightly 22-year-old at that level.

Old Boys' Hastings and Whakatu Mahora clubs combined in 1989 to become Cornwall Cricket Club with Singleton becoming president and the chairman of the building subcommittee which spearheaded the drive to construct the pavilion at the majestic park.

"With a few other good blokes we engineered the building of the pavilion so it gives me a great sense of satisfaction to watch so many people enjoy watching cricket from there," said Cornwall life member Singleton who only stepped down as president two years ago after serving as club chairman, too.

Club director of cricket David Black said when the first beer was poured from the tap at the club's bar Singleton was the first person to drink it and current president and life member Mike Patton the second.

Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the first double-century record is how Singleton went about it over two Saturdays.

Openers Bill Ormond and captain Jim Newbiggin were at the crease chasing Whakatu Mahora's modest first-innings total of 250 when the former departed for 30-odd runs.

Brother Tim Ormond came in at No3 but departed for a golden duck.

Enter Singleton on a hat-trick ball to be 83 not out at the end of play.

Early the following Saturday, a yorker in the first over from fast bowler Wyn Goodall broke his toe.

"Wyn and I were good friends but on the field we hated each other.

"I jumped up and down and fluffed about," Singleton recalled before approaching his skipper, a decade his senior, for a runner.

Newbiggin put the batsman on hold, urging him to score a ton first and he would oblige.

"So Tim [Ormond] basically ran the other hundred for me.

"I said to Tim, 'Serves you right for going out on the first ball so you can run a hundred," said Singleton, who scored 31 boundaries and a six.

He was eventually caught in the covers with his side amassing 350 as they went on to roll Whakatu Mahora for 116 runs before making the 17 runs required to win the game.

His father, the late Ed Singleton who umpired at international level as well as Shell Trophy games (equivalent to four-day Plunket Shield matches today), had converted his garage at Miro St into an after-match celebrations venue every other Saturday.

Benches were placed on either side and the beer, which arrived at midday, was covered with jute sacks and hosed down to keep the bottles chilled.

"We didn't have refrigerators in those days," said Singleton who went on to play a Hawke Cup match for Hawke's Bay senior men against Malborough.

Thompson didn't have much time for celebration on Saturday night, having to play for the Havelock North Premier men's team yesterday in their one-day match against Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall Premiers at "The Lords" No1 wicket.

The youngster scored a duck but kept his sense of humour as the premier village team amassed 299-9 to to beat the hosts by 100 runs after skittling them for 199.

No 4 Graeme Tyron scored 100 runs from 113 balls, including 13 boundaries, while captain Todd Astill, at No 6, added a quickfire 74 runs from 73balls, including 11 fours.

Veteran spinner Jonathan Hall, Charley Crasborn and John Jowsey all took two scalps each but the latter two took some stick.

Cornwall No 3 Jayden Wiggins scored a sedate 48 off 85 balls while opener Brad Wilson upped the tempo with 43 from 40 balls.

In the other prem matches, Taradale caused an upset to beat leaders Complete Flooring Napier Technical Old Boys who were skittled cheaply for 167 runs with just Alex McGarva putting up a fighting 47 runs at No 5 with the help of Matt Edmondson ( 26 runs) and Christian Purchass (33) above him in 37 overs.

Sam Niblett claimed a five-wicket bag from 10, including two maidens and bleeding only 41 runs.

In reply, the Maroons chased down the total with 170-8 with five overs to spare.

No 5 Luke Kenworthy was unbeaten on 70 from 100 balls, including 10 boundaries.

At Nelson Park, Napier, Ruahine Central Hawke's Bay 266-7 with Sam McConville 109 while Henry Hunter, sent back from the Hawke Cup match in Palmerston North, got 54 and Hamish Lewis added 44.

The Tony Pothan-coached Station Napier Old Boys' Marist were well shy of eclipsing the target by more than 150 runs.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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