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Wairarapa falls against table-toppers

Jack Forrester dug in to score an unbeaten 81 from 140 balls against Hawke’s Bay. PHOTO/FILE

With hot conditions, four key players missing, and a table-topping Hawke’s Bay waiting for them, Wairarapa must have known they were in for a battle at the weekend.

Despite an 89-run stand from Jack Forrester and help from Anthony Sprowson, hamstrung Wairarapa were no match for the home side.

Wairarapa were all out for 155 runs in 63.5 overs in the first innings of their Furlong Cup match before the home side put them to the sword again for 102 in 25.1 overs in the second dig to claim an outright victory at Nelson Park, Napier, on Sunday.

No doubt, with the heat wave forecast, Hawke’s Bay senior men’s representative captain, Bradley Schmulian, had wanted the job done in pretty smart time.

“We definitely had our mind on the heat [Sunday] so we didn’t want to stay out there much longer because the pitch was going to dry up and get better,” said the 28-year-old, after he won the toss and elected to bowl in relatively bearable climes on Saturday.

Schmulian led by example on debut as skipper, carving up a brisk, unbeaten 114 runs from 118 balls, including 15 boundaries and a six for a don’t-argue 4-312 in 61.5 overs in between the demolition of the visitors.

The fifth century for the Bay men was the measure of the Central Districts Stags cricketer who had posted a double ton in his Plunket Shield debut in November 2017.

However, Bayley Wiggins also chimed in with 11 runs from 165 deliveries, including 11 fours for his maiden century for the Bay.

Fellow teenage opener Harry Young, on debut, scored 59 runs from 75 balls, including 10 boundaries, also put his hand up to show he belonged at the Furlong Cup level in the Bay’s quest to earn the right to become the zone two challengers for the Hawke Cup, the symbol of minor cricket supremacy in the country, from March 1-3.

“He was quite nervous before that, so it was quite a great start,” said Schmulian.

However, they first have to play Manawatu in Palmerston North in round five on February 16-17, which will be a sterner test to gauge their worth.

Already missing four seasoned batsmen in Liam Burling [injury], Mark Childs [injury], Robbie Speers [not available] and allrounder Jaco Vorster [work], the Neil Perry-coached Wairarapa team did well to get to lunch before they were mercifully bundled out shortly after 2pm.

Bay new-ball seamer Liam Dudding was outstanding, taking 3-16 from 13 overs, including seven maidens, in the first innings before backing it up with 3-24 from seven overs in the second one.

CD Stag Christian Leopard took 2-17 but Jayden Lennox showed his class despite taking only 1-26 from 15 overs, including eight maidens in the first dig.

Leopard claimed 2-30 in the second innings but opening seamer Ben Stoyanoff was the standout with 4-22 from 10 overs, including four maidens.

“We played really well and ticked all the boxes so we’re happy with a job done well,” he said.

Schmulian agreed Manawatu would be a different ball game all together but he suspected the Bay were heading in the right direction after Sunday.

Wairarapa wicketkeeper Jack Forrester, at No 7, was the only resistance with the bat in the first dig with an unbeaten 81 from 140 balls, including 14 fours.

He found some support from captain Daniel Ingham and Anthony Sprowson, who contributed 20 runs each.

Sprowson again delivered 30 runs at No 9 to leave No 11 Peter Sigversten stranded on 30 in the second innings.

– Hawke’s Bay Today

Brief scores
Wairarapa 155 [J Forrester 81, A Sprowson 20, D Ingham 20: LR Dudding 3-16, C Leopard 2-17] and 102 lost to Hawke’s Bay 102 [BD Schmulian 114, BW Wiggins 110, HY Young 59: P Sigvertsen 2-38]

Furlong Cup Standings:
Hawkes Bay 12 points, Manawatu nine points, Horowhenua seven points, Wairarapa six points, Taranaki five points, Wanganui three points.

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