Westech Automotive Maungakaramea's Northland premier cricket T20 competition campaign couldn't have started better on Saturday as they inflicted an eight-wicket demolition on Kaipara Flats.
In what was first game of the T20 format this season, Maungakaramea took full advantage of a depleted Kaipara team, claiming three wickets in their second over at a sunny Maungakaramea Domain.
Maungakaramea left-arm offspinner Hamish Kidd, who had recently returned from university, did the damage at the top as he trapped Kaipara opener Liam Jones in front with the first ball of the game's second over.
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On Kidd's fourth ball, Kaipara batsman Kyran Dill was run out after a good throw had him scrambling coming back for a second run. On his final ball, Kidd claimed the vital wicket of Jack Beaven who, on his second delivery, could do nothing but spoon the ball to Mark Andrianatos at backward point.
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At 5 for 3 after 12 balls, Kaipara seemed to adopt the mentality of "hit out or get out" as their remaining batsman could only contribute 36 further runs as they reached their total of 41 in the 14th over, Maungakaramea's Jack Cranage cleaning up the tail with three wickets.
In reply, the home side started shakily as they lost openers Tom Lovegrove after three balls and Chris Page in the fourth over. However, batters Thorn Parkes and Ian Page were able to steady the ship and chase down the total in eight overs.
"We were quite stoked with how they tried to make hay from ball one," Maungakaramea wicketkeeper Bert Horner said.
"[Kidd] pretty much bamboozled them with left arm orthodox and set the tone for rest of the game."
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After a disappointing loss to FMG Northern in the 50-over competition a week prior, Horner said it was satisfying to make amends against a traditionally strong Kaipara side.
"Obviously, it was going to be tough challenge but [Kaipara] rocked up and had few of their regular players not there, and we had three or four players back from Northland duties and that made a difference."
Prior to their loss on Saturday, Kaipara had won all five of their 50-over games this season. Despite his disappointment, Kaipara captain Matthew Taylor fully accepted his team had been bested.
"We just got outplayed, the pitch wasn't the greatest but it wasn't the worst, [Maungakaramea] bowled well, fielded well and took their chances and we were just a little bit sloppy," he said.
With three regular players missing from Saturday's 11, Taylor said the team didn't assess conditions well and paid the price. However, he said the loss would be a good motivator for the team to lift their standard in future games.
Remaining T20 round one fixtures:
Kensington Tavern Onerahi Central v Motel Sierra Kamo at Kensington Park 1 on Thursday, 5pm start
Duracrete Products City v FMG Northern at Cobham Oval on Friday, 5pm start.
Round two (November 23, 10:30am start):
Motel Sierra Kamo v Kaipara Flats at Kensington Park 3
FMG Northern v Westech Automotive Maungakaramea at Kensington Park 2
Duracrete Products City v Kensington Tavern Onerahi Central at Kensington Park 1
Round three (November 23, 2pm start):
Motel Sierra Kamo v Westech Automotive Maungakaramea at Kensington Park 2
Duracrete Products City v Kaipara Flats at Kensington Park 3
Kensington Tavern Onerahi Central v FMG Northern at Kensington Park 1