When you want to test yourself at premier men's club level you tend to gauge your worth against the best in the country.
Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall CC captain Bayley Wiggins did that and came out the other side as he spearheaded his team to a four-wicket victory over You Travel Taradale CC in Hastings on Saturday.
"Luckily enough I had faced Dougy [Bracewell] in the nets and stuff so I kind of knew what he was going [to deliver] and that made me switch on a little bit more," said opening batsman Wiggins after scoring an unbeaten 111 runs from 113 deliveries, including nine boundaries and four sixes, during round nine of the MJF Shrimpton Memorial 50-over match at Cornwall Park.
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The 21-year-old, who had won the toss and chosen to bowl, had weathered the storm from former Black Cap seamer Bracewell — returning from injury — in the successful run chase of 6-203 with nine balls remaining.
"He's bowling decent wheels so he's looking good — nice and fit," he said of the seamer with test pedigree.
Wiggins, who played for CD A against their Wellington counterparts at the Basin Reserve on Sunday, said Taradale's 199 all out in 47.4 overs was a "niggly" total.
No 4 Callum Hewetson (47 runs), No 6 Josh Jones (44) and veteran opener Luke Wright (41) were the pillars of that total.
Rohan Fendall claimed 3-24 while openers Cameron Harding and Bryce Green took two scalps each for Cornwall although the hosts had gifted 15 wides.
"The pitch was a little two-paced so that was always on the back of my mind," said the part-time brewery employee who had carved his third premier century and has one for the Central Districts Stags in his debut domestic season, after coming agonisingly close to another on 98 this domestic summer.
He said fellow Stag Willem Ludick was pivotal in their club campaign with bat and ball.
A wicket-less Bracewell, who is in the Stags' Plunket Shield mix against the Otago Volts in Dunedin from Tuesday, was frugal with two maidens, going at 3.1 an over from his 10 overs.
At Forest Gate Domain in Ongaonga, Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay trounced The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist (NOBM) by 117 runs.
The visitors won the toss and got the hosts padding up for 9-217 in their allotted 50 overs.
Central Districts Stag Joshua Clarkson top scored with 67 at No 4 while Scott Schaw, at first drop, provided stability in the partnership with 52 before younger brother and Bay representative Angus Schaw added 29 at No 5.
Opening bowler Sunil Kumar took 3-19 while former Black Cap Mathew Sinclair (2-50) and Sam Gallagher (2-60) backed him up.
In reply, NOBM fell way shy when they were skittled for 100 with 12 overs to spare. Sam Johnson, at first drop, got their highest knock of 37.
Spinner Angus Schaw claimed 5-20 at second change after opening seamer Hamish Lewis had kept NOBM on a leash with 2-21.
At Nelson Park, leaders Innovate Napier Technical Old Boys (NTOB) crashed to a six-wicket defeat after Reynard Health Supplies Havelock North CC won the toss and elected to bowl.
NTOB were all out for 170 with five balls remaining. No 4 Bronson Meehan was the mainstay with 86 runs after openers Matt Edmonson ( 29 runs) and CD Stag Christian Leopard (27) had built a foundation of sorts.
CD Stag Ben Wheeler claimed 2-33 but it was Riyan Perera who was the most frugal at 2-21.
The villagers had overhauled the target with 4-172 and two overs left for good measure.
CD batsman Bradley Schmulian scored 55 runs with fellow opening batsman Sam Ferguson ticking it over with 45 before No 5 Wheeler and No 6 Jonathon Whitley saw them home with an unbeaten 16 and eight not out, respectively.
Veteran Meehan took 2-31 for the back-to-back, three-time national club champions but CD spinner Jayden Lennox was almost un-playable with 1-19 from 10 overs.
Taradale host NOBM, NTOB welcome CHB and Cornwall will have the changing rooms ready for Havelock North in the final round on Saturday before the playoffs.