Cricket: Master of disaster

By Cameron Leslie

Forget the Black Caps: At least the Northland cricket team know how to win matches - thanks largely to an intimidating spell of bowling from Cody Andrews.

Andrews peppered the Counties Manukau batsmen with bouncers, striking them a few times to knock their confidence.

Northland coach Stephen Cunis applauded Andrews' tactics which helped turn Sunday's game in Northland's favour as Counties were rolled for 134.

"He [Andrews] was hitting guys in the head left, right and centre," said Cunis. "He finished with four for 28 off 10 overs, and three of those were from bouncers where people tried to pull and ended up just lobbing to midwicket. I think they [Counties] were a bit gun shy with three [batsmen] getting hit in the head."

Cunis also credited Henry Cooper (46 not out) and Northland stalwart Michael Parlane (62 not out) for steadying the ship after an early collapse left them in trouble at three for 15 early in the chase. Thankfully, Northland showed a bit more grit than the Black Caps have in South Africa as they surpassed the total after 27 overs to win with a bonus point.

"Cooper had a great day [with the ball], 10 overs for 23 runs. Michael Parlane was under the pump when he was first at the crease and the old Parlane came out. He [Parlane] didn't let them [Counties] dictate play and took it to them. You could tell from first ball," said Cunis of the now 40-year-old Parlane.

Cunis said Parlane, who smashed 94 against Boys' High on Saturday in a Twenty20 match, has worked a few things out in his game since taking over the captaincy role with his Kaipara Flats club team.

Dewayne Bowden was another who Cunis credited for his efforts at the bowling crease, nicking the key wicket of the big- hitting Kevin Farrell through to the keeper.

Cunis also praised 17-year-old Kurtley Watson for his efforts in removing ex-Canterbury batsmen Brandon Hiini.

"We forget how young he [Watson] is. He bowled harder and hit the deck harder, and threw in some bouncers. He just had some more mongrel in him."

Perhaps the likes of Watson, Parlane and Andrews are what the Black Caps need in South Africa to show some more fight.

Northland's next big game will be a one-day match against Hamilton at Hamilton on February 3.

Scorecard: Counties Manukau 134 (Cody Andrews 4 for 28, Henry Cooper 2 for 23) lost to Northland 135-4 (Michael Parlane 62 not out, Henry Cooper 46 not out).

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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