Cricket: Batting blow to CD's pride

By Anendra Singh


Ford Trophy

Eden Park Outer Oval

No point in mincing words because, regardless of what dialect you use, it's pitiful batting.

So much so that outgoing Devon Hotel Central Districts coach Alan Hunt was struggling to "put a finger on it" after his batsmen were skittled for 74 runs.

To Hunt's credit, he did manage to find a modicum of rhyme and reason during the course of the interview but there's no escaping from the outcome for the defending champions.

The Stags' woeful batting against Auckland Aces was downright embarrassing as they slumped to a 211-run defeat at the Eden Park Outer Oval yesterday in their sixth outing in the Ford Trophy 50-over match.

The long and short of it - CD have been outstanding in the four-day Plunket Shield competition but are showing similar symptoms to a dismal HRV Cup season in their limited-overs' campaign.

Hunt will be the first to agree after 4-40 starts in three losses and one 4-70 in the fourth one beg for some sort of desperation from Kieran Noema-Barnett and his men.

Okay, so a white coat gave Noema-Barnett out when the ball apparently smacked his behind before carrying to wicky Gareth Hopkins' gloves and Bevan Small didn't bat because of an injury on the field, but how do we explain the seven single-digit knocks.

Are they mentally and physically fatigued because you almost get that impression from the sorry scoreboard on the website.

That's where Hunt comes unstuck.

"Some players aren't consistent and some are out of form but they are mentally and physically sound so that's where it's hard to get a handle on it," he lamented after the hosts posted 285 all out in 47.5 overs.

The bowling, he said, was fine because in the previous game the Aces amassed 380.

"There was some good bowling from them and some pretty ordinary shots from us.

"There were the odd strangles down leg side which combined to continue the rot," Hunt said as veteran Chris Martin (3-33) and Kyle Mills (2-11) created a riot before Michael Bates (2-19) and Colin de Grandhomme (2-9) joined in for a few king hits.

Otago are still behind after losing to ND but Wellington thumped Canterbury so CD's game in the capital city on Sunday is a must-win one for the 3rd-4th rungs of the ladder as the Aces and Wizards look secure.

"We're a pretty proud group so we've let ourselves down."

He said Small's injury from catching was akin to Tim Southee and Martin Guptill's so his season could be over.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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