By Gary Caffell
Wairarapa coach Neil Perry was understandably lauding the effort of talented young batsman Liam Burling after the first day’s play in his team’s Hawke Cup zone two qualifying round match with
Hawke’s Bay at Ongaonga on Saturday.
It was an unbeaten 116 by Burling which laid the foundations for Wairarapa amassing a healthy first innings score of 313 and throwing down the gauntlet to a Hawke’s Bay side which went into the game knowing they almost certainly needed at least first innings points to secure the right for a Cup challenge.
On paper that looked an odds on proposition against a Wairarapa side well out of contention themselves for that distinction but with Burling leading the way in a knock which saw him face 277 deliveries and strike 15 fours the home team had a real battle on their hands to get anything out of the game at all.
Perry described Burling’s effort as “truly superb”.
He said the former Rathkeale Collee first XI skipper and Central Districts age group representative was always in control against a Hawke’s Bay attack heavily reliant on their spinners to do the spade work on a pitch more suited to the slow bowlers than the seamers.
“The Bay boys are pretty abrasive and they did their best to get into Liam’s head but he was completely unfazed by what was going on around him, he let his bat do the talking,” Perry said.
Burling came to the wicket after openers Choi Jackson (36 including six fours and one six)) and debutante (Ethan Childs) had put on 51 runs for the first wicket and he was involved in several handy partnerships, 56 with Robbie Speers (31 including four fours), 50 with Gordon Reisima (23), 33 with Paul Lyttle (26 including three sixes), 26 with Jack Forrester (16 all from boundaries) 32 with Stefan Hook Sporry (5 from 25 deliveries) and 25 with last man in Jared Watt (17).
“We talked about the importance of getting partnerships going and most of the batsmen contributed well in that respect,” Perry said.
Hawke’s Bay was left with 23 overs to face in their first innings before stumps and in that time Wairarapa managed to snare two wickets, both of them to Jared Watt, for 83 runs.
Watt came on at second change and finished with 2-12 off his five overs with Perry impressed at the movement he obtained through the air, something no other bowler was able to do.
Perry also had good things to say about orthodox left arm spinner Quinn Childs, who, like his 16-year-old twin brother Ethan, was making his debut for Wairarapa at senior level.
“He was very tidy, he made the batsmen play and that’s what we wanted.”
First day scorecard:
WAIRARAPA 313 (Jackson 36, E.Childs 12, Burling 116 not out, Price 9, Speers 31, Reisima 23, van deventer 3, Lyttle 26, Forrester 16, Hook-Sporry 5, Watt 17, extras 19; fall of wickets, 51, 56, 79, 135, 185, 197, 230, 256, 288, 313; Rukuwai 10-4-25-0, Robson 41-4-41-2, Pretorius 25-3-79-4, Lennox 26-6-69-2, Schaw 14-1-48-0, Schmulian 8.3-2-25-2, Smith 3-0-11-0) v HAWKE’S BAY 83-2 (Field 36, Smith 28, Edmondson 2 not out, Young 4 not out, extras 13; fall of wickets, 71, 78; Hook-Sporry 5-1-21-1, van Deventer 6-1-14-0, Q.Childs 4-1-17-0, Watt 5-1-12-2, Speers 3-1-6-0)