HK Bears break cricket drought

Horowhenua Chronicle - - SPORT -

The Horowhenua Ka¯ piti Bears cricket team trav­elled to Napier last week­end to take on a Hawke’s Bay side lit­tered with Cen­tral Dis­tricts ex­pe­ri­ence.

With the ma­jor­ity of Bay play­ers cur­rently in the Cen­tral Dis­tricts first class set-up or CD ta­lent-iden­ti­fied pool, the lo­cal HK play­ers knew the week­end pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to show­case skill against the best.

Rain all week had the cov­ers left on for ex­tended pe­ri­ods, which was to pro­vide a fresh­en­ing of the wicket. At the toss both cap­tains were keen for a bowl on the green seamer. An­dre Halbert in his only fail of the week­end called wrong and the Bears were sent into bat.

The in-form Dion San­son (23) and Matthew Good (74) were the first two face the ag­gres­sive Bay bowlers. A 53-run open­ing part­ner­ship had HK off to a pos­i­tive start .

HK Player-Coach Chad Law (74) set­tled in to what be­came a marathon in­nings of 196 balls, an­other 50-run part­ner­ship with Good had HK 124-2. Chad bat­ted with pa­tience and con­trol with sup­port from K Fa­hey (38) A Halbert (35) and Ryan McCone to end a pos­i­tive open­ing day on 284-7.

On Day Two the Bears tail wanted to push for the elu­sive 300 which hasn’t been achieved by an HK side be­fore. Un­for­tu­nately the Bay came out hard clos­ing at 291. This was the sec­ond high­est first in­nings to­tal by any HK side vs Hawke’s Bay.

Ryan McCone spear­headed the HK at­tack with Levin Old Boys stal­wart Dae­mon Ken­nett how­ever nei­ther could break the open­ing part­ner­ship of the Bay at 82-0 after just 13 overs. Fraser Bartholomew re­turn­ing from in­jury got the wicket of the hard­hit­ting Wig­gins for 57 then just a few overs later re­moved the Hawke’s Bay skip­per J Smith for 32.

The Bay was now 105-2 un­til a fine spell of bowl­ing from Carter An­drews and Dion San­son slowed the run rate and re­moved an­other two Bay bats­men who were now start­ing to wob­ble at 131-4.

Leader Chad Law was now on the side line with a knee in­jury, so it was time for the newly formed lead­er­ship group to as­sist the skip­per.

The de­ci­sion to bring back McCone straight after lunch was an­other mas­ter­stroke from Halbert as the Stag quick re­moved fel­low first class team mates Noema-Bar­nett and Sch­mul­lian, which in­cluded a catch from Liam Pin­fold fly­ing through the air for the one­handed grab.

Dion San­son pro­vided good sup­port to McCone in a bowl­ing part­ner­ship that now had the Bay fall­ing short of the fol­low-on to­tal at 142-7.

Liam Pin­fold was thrown the ball in the 41st over and didn’t dis­ap­point, strik­ing in his first and sec­ond over knock­ing over the Bay lower or­der.

Now 164-9 The HK Men con­tin­ued ap­ply­ing pres­sure look­ing for the last wicket, young stag Chris­tian Leop­ard who suf­fered a lower back in­jury bowl­ing, showed courage and some big hit­ting abil­ity to sup­port Todd Wat­son see the Bay pass the fol­low-on tar­get of 191.

Cap­tain Halbert brought back Fraser Bartholomew who broke the fi­nal part­ner­ship.

With around 55 overs left in the day HK knew that the game was still not se­cured.

Kelsey Fa­hey joined San­son at the crease and both showed grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion to get the HK lads to tea with­out the loss of any more wick­ets.

Fa­hey and San­son went into the fi­nal ses­sion with con­fi­dence and kept the score tick­ing over un­til Smith of­fered out his hand to San­son in the 22nd over with HK 77-1.

Vic­tory by 1st In­nings to the Horowhenua-Ka¯ piti Men over the Bay was now con­firmed. Player Coach Chad Law re­turned from hospi­tal to wit­ness this mo­ment .

The play­ers now join a small group who have won against the bay. The pre­vi­ous vic­tory was in 1998, 20 years ago.

The HMC HK Se­nior Men now get a break un­til they meet Whanganui on Jan­uary 13 and 14 at the re­fur­bished Don­nelly Park in Levin.

The vic­tory against the Bay has HK cur­rently sec­ond equal one point be­hind lead­ers Manawatu¯ after Round 2 of the Fur­long Cup.

To check the score­card or re­view some of the recorded ac­tion click on the be­low link. matches/697528

Chad Law scored 50 runs against Hawke’s Bay. By David O’Brien, CEO of Horowhenua Ka¯ piti Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion

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