Quite often captains and coaches allude to batsmen coming up shy in posting a decent total to eke out a win in cricket but that's not always the case.
Sometimes, if you take a step back to peruse a scoreboard you tend to find it's how teams bowl and how they field that defines the difference between victory and defeat.
The Station Napier Old Boys' Marist CC's three-wicket loss to Reynard Health Supplies Havelock North CC at Nelson Park, Napier, on Sunday is a classic example in the Property Brokers Hawke's Bay premier men's club competition.
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The villagers came up trumps in round four of the Laver & Wood 40-over Trophy match when they eclipsed NOBM's total of 3-193 on the penultimate ball.
A win-less NOBM had gifted Havelock North 16 wides in 19 extras while the latter had offered 11 in their 23 extras.
Captain Nihal Shilar claimed 3-30 and Joe Collings-Wells took 2-42 but it was Scott Morgan's 0-27 that caught the eye as the most frugal bowler at 3.38 an over with Shilar not far behind.
"With our team we don't actually have genuine bowlers," said Shilar after Havelock got 7-179. "We have only three genuine ones and two part timers so that's where it's hard to get more discipline in the line-up."
He said Morgan was a Hobbler (older social competitive cricketer) who had been called up but agreed that was the sort of frugality required to close out matches although it was difficult pushing non-premier players too hard in the field.
"We have beaten Havelock in previous 50-over games ... so this one slipped away," he said, believing NOBM were 30 to 40 runs shy of their target on a flat wicket.
Wicketkeeper Sam Johnson needed to pick up his run rate in scoring 39 not out from 77 deliveries, including two fours.
"He needed to be a bit more aggressive but, hey, we were sloppy in the field as well."
Opener Riyan Perera scored 52 runs before Harry Ghodke (58no) and Stu McVeigh (13no) saw the villagers through.
NOBM opener Collings-Wells scored 76 at almost a run a ball and No 4 Shilar added 33.
Jared Priest, captain Graeme Tryon and McVeigh claimed a wicket each for Havelock North.
The six-wicket win Heretaunga Building Society Cornwall CC posted over Innovate Electrical Napier Technical Old Boys in Hastings also raises some bowling issues, albeit IN a game that didn't exceed the 20-over mark.
The Texans won the toss to finish 9-129 in 19.4 overs at Cornwall Park. Captain Jesse Ryder top scored for them with 65 runs from 27 balls, including seven boundaries and five sixes at a strike rate of 240.
Cornwall opening bowler Rohan Fendall was almost unplayable, taking 3-9 in his seven overs, including two maidens, at 1.29 runs an over. Medium pacer Jarod Hughes claimed 3-10 from 1.4 overs. The attack bowled six wides in 11 extras.
In reply, Cornwall eclipsed the target with 4-133 in 20 overs with Willem Ludick scoring 49 runs at first drop while No 4 Cameron Harding was unbeaten on 43 from 29 balls.
Tyler Annand claimed 2-30 but NTOB needed more Liam McCarthys as the Napier Boys' High School first XI player took 1-10 from three overs at 3.33 an over on a day when they conceded 10 wides.
It was by the skin of the teeth at Ongaonga when Ruahine Motors Central Hawke's Bay CC prevailed by seven runs over You Travel Taradale CC.
Taradale were skittled for 170 — with two deliveries in the bank — in trying to chase down the hosts' 9-177 in 40 overs at Forest Gate Domain.
CHB's Australian import leg spinner, Kyle Gardiner, cut out the heart of the Taradale batting line up to finish with 6-30 with Joshua Clarkson, Hamish Lewis and Toby Richardson claiming a scalp each.
The victors had bowled two more overs in wides compared with, ironically, Taradale's seven.
"If you go through a whole innings and bowl seven wides then — majority of the times — it's considered an okay effort," said Taradale skipper Luke Kenworthy who felt it would become a concern if it got above the 10 mark.
"We probably were in control of the game in 20 overs of our run chase in establishing a couple of partnerships and then we just lost wickets at silly times."
Kenworthy said they didn't play smart cricket in losing clumps of wickets from the 35th to 39th overs although the goal was to take the batting as deep as possible.
"Allowing him [Gardiner] to get six wickets when we had identified him as the most threatening bowler is very disappointing," he said, bemoaning poor shot selection against a tweaker who had represented Pay Excellence Hawke's Bay senior men and claimed scalps with them, too.
Kenworthy said their bowling and fielding were good but the odd mistake was the nature of cricket.
Former Bay rep wicketkeeper Scott Schaw scored 49 runs at first drop before Central Districts Stag Clarkson boosted CHB's total with 56 runs.
Angus McKnight claimed 3-25 and off spinner Josh Jones took 3-28. Stan Mair, Logan Trower and Oliver Kyle added value with a wicket each.
The results led to a reshuffle on the table on net run rate as the Texans lost their top-rung perch although the top three sides are locked on 20 points each. Cornwall claimed their first victory in the format.
Standings: CHB 20pts, Havelock North 20, NTOB 20, Taradale 13, Cornwall 7, NOBM 0.