Cricket: Should have won, says coach

By Cameron Leslie

Northland's men's cricket team has come away with a draw and two points against Hamilton after being in the box seat for most of yesterday.

Chasing 342 for first innings points, Northland coach Stephen Cunis said his team had worked hard to be in control, but the second new ball caused chaos with their middle order.

"We should have won," said Cunis. "When you're 222 for 2 on a flat wicket, with eight wickets in hand and, 34 overs to go we should have won.

"They took the new ball and we played loose. [But] we hung in there and dug deep and came away with two points. It's better than a loss."

A highlight of the draw was 19-year-old Henry Cooper's maiden century for Northland, backing up his 113 for Onerahi last weekend.

Cunis said Cooper has had a great season after scoring 77 not out against Bay of Plenty last month.

"Last year he would have had a top score of 35. [But] people have always said that he has a lot of promise and could turn into a great cricketer."

Northland ended the first day positively after bowling Hamilton out for 341 on a flat wicket. The pick of the bowlers was Cody Andrews who picked up four wickets for 66 runs, with Matty Taylor (2) and Henry Cooper (2) both chipping in.

Northland responded in steady fashion by being 50 for one after 18 overs, with the early wicket of Brad Kneebone who was caught behind.

Cooper's dismissal after tea brought about Northland's collapse as the middle order played loosely and were made to pay by the Hamilton bowlers.

Luckily for Northland their tailenders saved the day after being eight down with 11 overs to play.

Cunis said despite the draw he was happy with how his team played and the grit they showed, particularly by his top and lower order batsmen.

- Northern Advocate

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