It's one thing to captain and another to lead by example but then when others follow you then it's game on in sport.
Pay Excellence Hawke's Bay senior men's representative batsman, Dominic Thompson, made a dream start in just his second outing as skipper when he found an ally in opener Bayley Wiggins to establish a sturdy platform on 6-306 in 50 overs to defeat Taranaki by 15 runs in the opening round of the Chapple Cup tournament in Napier tonight.
Having won the toss, Thompson padded up against Taranaki in what should be the defining match of the annual Central Districts one-day inter-district tourney at a Nelson Park bathed in sunshine.
"It's nice to get in on the first day because it pushed you straight into the semifinals so we'll take the win but we know there's plenty for us to work on," said the 23-year-old Ruahine Motor Central Hawke's Bay premier men's club cricketer after scoring 108 runs at No 6 at a brisk clip off 89 balls, including nine boundaries and three sixes.
However, it was more a case of leading the way rather than following for Wiggins who had carved up 95 runs.
The Heretaunga Building Society cricketer was a little more sedate in his knock, facing 125 deliveries in cutting the boundary five times and clearing the rope twice. He had unselfishly sacrificed his wicket on the last ball after anchoring the innings with No 7 Angus Schaw unbeaten on 41 from 15 balls at a Twenty20 strike rate of 273.33, including four boundaries and three sixes.
"I think Bayley batted superbly as the guy on the top who can bat through the innings with everyone else batting around him so that's what you're looking for in one-day match so, yeah, it's a little disappointing for him not getting his 100 but he definitely laid the platform for us to go past 300," said Thompson as the Bay prepare for Horowhenua-Kapiti in their 10.30am semifinal tomorrow.
Taranaki, who had beaten the Bay in last year's cup final and also upset them in the opening round of the Blair Furlong two-day, red-ball format here early this month, gave themselves a fighting chance requiring 21 runs from the last over with two wickets in hand.
Opening seamer Ben Stoyanoff, with no wickets in his opening spell, stopped the rot in the batting middle order before Schaw and Australian leg spinner bowled the last two overs to stifle the visitors.
Gardiner ran out No 10 batsman Michael Blanks on 25 runs on Schaw's delivery to leave No 11 Daniel Bernet stranded on the crease on 28 with a ball to spare.
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"I think Ben came back to bowl superbly in his second spell to break up the middle order because we really needed a couple of quick wickets there so we had the spinners to go hard out at the other end," Thompson said of the CHB twin spin attack on a predictably a flat deck.
While the Dave Castles-coached Bay men had exacted revenge on Taranaki Thompson emphasised the tourney demanded that to prevail a team had to overcome every opposition.
The Findex accounting graduate of Napier said it was nice to claim his third century for the Bay men but he hadn't lost sight of the goal that the collective campaign to claim the silverware eclipsed any individual pursuits players might harbour.
In other matches, Manawatu also didn't have it all their way before scraping to a 37-run victory over Marlborough to book a semifinal with Whanganui tomorrow.
The victors won the toss and elected to bat, posting 7-278 in their 50 allotted overs.
Opening batsman Arana Noema-Barnett scored 64 runs but it was Trent McGrath who had injected some self-belief with 106 runs from 131 balls at first drop, including 11 boundaries and a lusty six.
No 5 Floyd Na Nagara inflicted further pain on Marlborough with 82 runs.
Marlborough had employed eight bowlers but off spinner Prabodha Arthavidu took 3-53 while fellow left-arm seam opener Nick Weaver and medium pacer Jerrym Lamb claimed two scalps each.
In reply, Marlborough wicketkeeper/opening batsman Ma'ara Ave gave them an ideal start with 76 runs with Arthavidu forging a partnership at first drop by adding 52 to the cause but No 5 Lamb (40 runs) and No 7 Harry MacDonald (35) came to the party although they didn't hang around long enough to sip the champagne. They were skittled for 241 with 42 deliveries remaining in the vault.
Off spinner Noema-Barnett, at second change, was the pick of the Manawatu bowlers with 4-29 while right-arm medium-fast merchant Brad Fulton got the initial breakthrough with 2-45 and medium pacer Tim Richards chimed win with 2-38 also at second change.
Horowhenua-Kapiti had the closest call of them all when they snuck through by 12 runs over Nelson, in keeping with the win-toss-bat-first edict.
Wicketkeeper/captain Andre Halbert set the tone with 66 runs at No 5 before No 7 Kelsey Fahey emulated his feat with an unbeaten knock after Bailey Te Tomo provided the platform with 62 runs at first drop for the 7-380 from their 50 allotted overs.
Left-arm orthodox tweaker Felix Murray, with CD Stags experience, and RA quick Josh Newport took 2-56 and 2-53, respectively, as change bowlers after Nelson also employed eight in their attack.
In reply, Nelson got to an agonising 7-296 after gallant centuries from opening batsman Finn Raxworthy who carved up 17 boundaries in his 128 from 121 deliveries in a partnership with Greg Hay at No 3.
The CD Plunket Shield captain added 106 at a cracking clip off 108 balls, including 13 fours, but the other batsmen couldn't add cameo knocks for that much-needed boost as they trudged off for 7-296 in 50 overs.
Opening bowler Fraser Bartholomew took 3-44 and fellow seamer Liam Pinfold claimed 3-59 although the latter's first-change partner, Daemon Kennett, kept a tab on the economy rate at a tidy 4.88 runs an over despite remaining wicketless in leaking 39 runs.
Whanganui beat Wairarapa by four wickets but the CrickHQ scoreboard had no indication on who had won the toss.
Wairarapa had posted 253-6 on account of opener Stefan Hook Sporry's 66 runs before No 4 Brock Price fell six runs shy of a century at almost a ball-a-run-rate. Whanganui was the next highest scorer on 29 extras.
Connor O'Leary took a five-wicket 5-42 as the other five Whanganui bowlers remained wicketless.
In reply, the victors comfortably got to 256-6 with 59 deliveries to spare.
Left-hand opener Greg Smith was unbeaten 118 in facing 110 balls, carving up 13 boundaries and adding three sixes to a don't-argue innings.
Akhil Kumar added 47 runs from 43 balls, including seven fours and a six, at first drop.
The losing teams will play for the Cave Cup tomorrow.