Northland take first blood

By Cameron Leslie

Northland snatched first-innings points in their first two-day match against Bay of Plenty in the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl competition in Mt Maunganui at the weekend.

Bay of Plenty decided to bat first on a dead and flat Bay Oval pitch to make taking wickets difficult, but it was not long before Northland's Cody Andrews made a breakthrough.

The bowling unit toiled hard in trying conditions and chipped out wickets at regular intervals.

When the Bay declared at 351 for 8 after 97 overs, Northland were confident in chasing down the target if the team dug in and played smart cricket.

Brad Wilson and Brad Kneebone started well and put on 42 for the first wicket before Wilson was caught at point off a wide half volley.

James Marshall joined Kneebone and they added a further 102 wicket before Kneebone was bowled for 52. Neal Parlane and Marshall then put on 60 for the third wicket before Marshall was stumped.

Marshall's dismissal started a mini collapse with Neal Parlane following soon after and Ben Hyde losing his wicket first ball, leaving Northland in a wrestle for first innings points.

Henry Cooper and Michael Parlane went about resurrecting the Northland innings. The pair showed patience putting away bad deliveries with execution. The partnership stayed rock solid and eventually ran down the Bay's score.

Cooper's 77 not out and Parlane's 64 not out broke the back of the Bay's bowling by adding 142 for the sixth wicket.

Coach Stephen Cunis said the first innings victory was a great achievement and the Northland side took a lot of confidence from the match.

"It has been too often, in recent years, that the Northland team folded in these situations so it was pleasing to see a mixture of youth and experience stand up and take individual responsibility in winning the match."

Scoreboard: Bay of Plenty 352/8 declared (Brett Hampton 81, Bharat Popli 66, Scott Steward 58, Sean Davey 38 not out, C Anderson 21; James Marshall 2/44). Northland 353/5 (James Marshall 82, H Cooper 77 not out, Michael Parlane 64 not out, Bradley Kneebone 53, Neil Parlane 43). Result: Northland took first-innings points.

- Northern Advocate

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