Cricket: Coach left to lament silly shots' in defeat

By Anendra Singh

Coach Lincoln Doull had some choice words to describe the end of his team's Hawke Cup campaign but wisely refrained, adding they were not fit for publishing in the newspaper.

"Gutted is a word that comes to mind and I could go on but I won't," Doull eventually stammered after the Jacob Smith-captained Pay Excellence Hawke's Bay senior men's team succumbed by 42 runs in Palmerston North on Sunday.

It was a timely reminder for the Bay men that the battle for minor association supremacy always comes down to playing for two days, not one.

The visitors at Fitzherbert Park won the toss and had the hosts 3-65 at drinks on Saturday in the crucial cup qualifying match before skittling them for 267 before padding up for 17 overs to be 40 without loss at stumps.

"Well placed for a big day tomorrow," an upbeat Doull said in his text message.

The next day top-order batsmen Smith, Bronson Meehan and Michael Taiaroa, released from the Central Districts Stags HRV Cup Twenty/20 squad, were back in the pavilion with the Bay at 123-3 with lunch approaching.

At 4.34pm, a terse text message: "All over, 225 all out."

For a frustrated Doull it wasn't so much that the Bay were 40 odd shy but more so their inability to occupy the batting crease in the first-innings defeat that gifted player/coach Michael Mason's side leapfrogging seven points to the top rung with a weak Wairarapa to play in the last round in a fortnight while Smith's men travel to New Plymouth to face Taranaki.

"The batsmen got starts and then brought them back into the game with some very bad decisions and no one went on to get a big score."

No3 Taiaroa scored 41 runs, opener Meehan added 35, No6 James Mackie was the last out on 34, No5 Jayden Waters got 30, Smith 25 and No4 Angus Schaw "not knuckling down" with 17.

"Mackie did well, trying to hold it together but got little support although he had a decent partnership with Seb [Langridge]," he said. "We played silly shots with soft outs at stupid times, making it hard for ourselves."

He lauded the bowlers' frugality, especially spinner Ajaz Patel (32 overs, 12 maidens, 47 runs, 3 wickets), Liam Rukuwai (20-3-67-2) and Stevie Smidt (11-2-33-2). "Manawatu didn't do anything special. We let ourselves down."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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