Cricket: Stags need to take responsibility

By Anendra Singh

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Jamie How
Jamie How

Simply making starts doesn't stack up when one is playing any form of cricket.

It's imperative batsmen go on to post daunting scores to shift the pressure on to opposition bowlers when chasing totals.

"We need to chase that kind of total more times than not," Devon Hotel Central Districts Stags opening batsman Jamie How lamented last night after the hosts fell 92 runs shy of chasing a "par" target of 308 the Auckland Aces had set in their innings in Nelson.

It was the first defeat for the Heinrich Malan-coached Stags after the second round of the domestic limited-overs competition following their eight-wicket victory over the Wellington Firebirds last Sunday at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North.

At Saxton Oval, How and fellow opener Ben Smith got CD off to a promising start with an 81-run stand before former Stags seamer and Black Cap Mitchell McClenaghan enticed Smith to put one down Craig Cachopa's throat for 34 runs in the 16th over.

The Aces bowler wasn't done, claiming How's scalp for 44 runs two overs later to show why he is the leading wicket-taker.

"Things didn't go according to plan after that [stand]," veteran How said as CD batsmen stuttered and their run rate flirted with the nine-an-over mark.

On what was a good batting wicket, the 32-year-old felt it was disappointing to come up short with 215 runs and a shade more than 10 overs left in the collective's tank.

No5 Kruger van Wyk matched How's score from 36 balls to hint of a revival but captain/No6 Kieran Noema-Barnett and Tarun Nethula at No7 didn't find much love from the wicket, to register a run each.

"The guys need to make good scores and not just starts. We need to take responsibility," How said, though he felt the oval could be hard to defend on at times.

Nevertheless, Noema-Barnett and his men had walked off the field after their fielding effort on winning the toss "reasonably confident" of getting the job done with the willow.

Asked if CD would have batted first considering it was a benign strip, How said the conditions didn't change much throughout the game to warrant a rethink.

The visitors scored 307-7 in their 50 overs with Colin de Grandhomme (78 runs not out from 52 balls) and Craig Cachopa (66/62) providing the ideal platform after Martin Guptill (35), Anaru Kitchen (31) and Jeet Raval (44) threatened to take ownership higher up the order.

Leg spinner Nethula claimed 3-64 but the frugality stakes went to opening seamer Seth Rance (1-49 from 10 overs).

Andrew Mathieson got 2-59, including a maiden, after a lean summer of selection for the HRV Cup T20 and Plunket Shield campaigns.

How, who rolled his arm an over for 12 runs, said the bowlers performed well in patches.

"We had a couple of opportunities to restrict the score."

Conversely, McClenaghan finished with 4-45, captain Michael Bates 2-14 and Colin Munro 2-17.

Cachopa, whose Stags brother Carl is out injured, claimed five catches.

How said with the Black Caps heading off to the Twenty20 World Cup this week the Stags would not "change a lot".

The only international, Ross Taylor, hasn't played any matches and doesn't need to considering his sublime form this summer against the West Indies and India.

Allrounder Doug Bracewell is out after breaking his right foot following a night out drinking with Jesse Ryder.

Whether the conditions will improve in Christchurch for the match against the Canterbury Wizards this Sunday remains to be seen.

At Seddon Park, Hamilton, the Northern Districts Knights beat the Otago Volts by four wickets with two balls to spare.

The Firebirds versus Wizards match was abandoned without a ball bowled due to flooding in the region.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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