They lost the choice between an early start on artificial on later on grass as well as the toss but that didn't Napier Technical Old Boys from winning the match in Auckland today.

"We wanted to play early on artificial at an 11.30pm start but the default was grass so [the organisers] didn't want a bar of artificial," said Big Barrel-sponsored NTOB coach Dale Smidt last night after his side beat Pukekohe Metro (ND) by 70 runs in round three of the NZCT at the National Club Championship.

"They [Pukekohe] probably thought a shorter game was their best chance," said Smidt after the 1.30pm start at Cornwall Park No 2 wicket that was "doing a lot" and NTOB captain Liam Rukuwai would have bowled as well had he won the toss.

The Texans lost two early wickets in the reduced 30-over affair of the limited-overs competition before Izaiah Lange scored 72 from 59 balls at first drop and ex-Black Cap Jesse Ryder joined the party with 66 (70 balls) at No 5 to help the Central Districts champions post a total of 212-7 in 30 overs.


Smidt said the Lange and Ryder partnership was vital in "very good score" because he thought 160 to 180 would have been sufficient.

"You know, with [Matt Edmondson] and [Christian] Leopard out for two for bugger all so Lange was fantastic really .

"I think the wicket got better but I don't think they bowled particularly well," he said after Metro gifted NTOB 31 extras, including 20 wides and two no balls.

Lange didn't play the latter part of the Bay premier club season because of a broken finger although Smidt said it was expected of Ryder to do what he did.

In reply, Pukekohe were skittled for 124 in 26.4 overs.

New-ball seamer Stevie Smidt took 3-37 while Christian Leopard, Jayden Lennox and Indika Senarathne claimed two scalps each from a maximum of six overs each.

"We kept chipping away and they kept finding ways to get out, really," said Dale Smidt, adding the players were frozen to their bones because they had fielded in the rain.

The forecast is better tomorrow as NTOB face hosts Cornwall who beat Burnside (Canterbury) by four wickets and Onslow (Wellington) beat Northeast Valley (Otago) by seven wickets.


"We'll be playing a far better side tomorrow. They have three or four good players so we'll be coming up against better tteams than what they [Pukekohe] put up today," said Smidt.

Two days of play were abandoned because of the wintry blast that held the country at ransom.

Edmondson had injured his toe while wicketkeeping so Smidt said they would decide on whether he plays tomorrow after an assessment.

"But the weather is still the factor and we've cut down from five games to three so we've got a W and a couple of points on board so if we scrape a win tomorrow it'll be massive, really."