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Perry: Hats off to Hawke’s Bay batting

By Gary Caffell

Wairarapa senior men’s coach Neil Perry says the end result should not be allowed to detract from what he labelled a strong performance by his side in their Hawke Cup zone two qualifying round match with Hawke’s Bay at Ongaonga over the weekend.

Wairarapa lost on the first innings to the competition leaders after dominating the first of the two days.

A Liam Burling unbeaten century laid the foundations for Wairarapa’s healthy first innings score of 313 and by stumps, Hawke’s Bay were 83-2 in reply.

However, that situation changed rather drastically on the second day when the Bay raced through to a massive 469-4 before declaring their first innings closed and then had Wairarapa struggling at 157-7 when stumps were drawn.

Perry said his team’s failure to capitalise on the first day situation was much more a case of Hawke’s Bay batting superbly than Wairarapa losing their mojo.

In fact, Perry believes the 398-run third-wicket partnership between Matt Edmondson (229) and Brad Schmulian (118) was about as good as it gets at this level of the game.

“You have to take your hats off to them, they were magnificent the way they manipulated the ball into gaps, it was batting of the highest quality.”

Perry said Sunday was always likely to be a tough day at the office for the Wairarapa bowlers with the pitch giving them little assistance, the outfield being lightning fast and the temperatures reaching 34 degrees.

“I know that some of the figures look pretty ordinary but, honestly, I thought the guys stuck at it really well, they all bowled in good areas but the batting was superb, simple as that really.”

Perry also praised the character and resolve shown by Wairarapa’s lower order batsmen in their second innings as they strove — successfully too — to stave off an outright defeat.

“Hawke’s Bay were pushing hard for the win and the grit and determination we showed to keep them out was very encouraging.”

In other zone two matches played over the weekend, Horowhenua-Kapiti (180 and 95) lost outright to Wanganui (242 and 34-1) and Manawatu (179 and 262-7) lost on the first innings to Taranaki 183-9.

The first innings points secured by Hawke’s Bay over Wairarapa were enough to earn them a challenge for the Hawke Cup.

They finished the round robin series with 37pts, followed by Taranaki 35, Whanganui 21, Manawatu 18, Wairarapa 14 and Horowhenua-Kapiti 1.

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