Hawke’s Bay wicketkeeper Kurtis Weeks unsuccessfully appeals for a stumping against Wairarapa’s Gurdev Singh. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV
Post Office Hotel Wairarapa proved no match for a powerful Hawke’s Bay, falling to an innings defeat in their Furlong Cup two-day match at Queen Elizabeth Park Oval over the weekend.
Star of the show for the Hawke Cup holders was opener Will Clark who was all class in scoring a chanceless double century – an innings that impressed Wairarapa coach Neil Perry.
“I’ve known Will for quite a while, and I did see him really step-up last year when he scored a ton for Central Districts A in Wellington,” Perry said.
“But against us, that was a really good innings – it was chanceless, he just got in good positions, took advantage.”
Clark’s 201 came off 225 balls and featured 20 fours and seven sixes, and he was involved in three lengthy partnerships – 81 for the first wicket with Jonathan Whitley , 179 for the second wicket with Brad Schmulian , and 95 for the third wicket with Dominic Thompson [27 not out].
Wairarapa’s bowlers, with the possible exception of strike bowler Stefan Hook and part-time medium-pacer Jake Jonas, weren’t able to maintain the line and length to threaten the Hawke’s Bay batting line-up on the very good Oval pitch which offered good pace and consistent bounce.
The absence of a quality spin bowler also didn’t help the home side, with their battery of medium-pacers easy pickings for the strong visiting batting line-up.
“We bowled well at times and bowled some good deliveries, but they were able to capitalise when we didn’t quite hit where we wanted to, and we weren’t able to keep that pressure on.
“When we did, we created a lot of opportunities, and we weren’t quite able to take those difficult ones, but they took those same difficult ones when we were batting,” Perry said.
Hawke’s Bay’s total of 365-4 was always going to be a tall order for the Wairarapa batters, and that proved to be the case as they were bundled out for 127 in the 60th overs.
The home side batters mainly battled against the consistent line and length of the accurate Hawke’s Bay bowling attack led by captain Angus Schaw, who took four wickets for 32 runs off 25 overs with his accurate offspinners.
Opener Robbie Anderson top-scored with 34, and number 10 Gurdev Singh was next best with an entertaining 28.
Forced to follow on, Wairarapa again struggled to gain any momentum and were dismissed for 105. Jared van Deventer , and Jeremy Anderson  were the best of the batters.
“When we were batting, all the batters looked pretty good, but they didn’t give us anything with men around the bat. We batted for decent periods, but we weren’t able to build those big partnerships and big innings,” Perry said.
“We had discussions about batting plans, particularly against quality spin and with men around the bat and what we would look to do, and the guys definitely looked to implement those.