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Horouta profit from attacking play

A SUPERB spell of attacking cricket by Horouta has shaken up Poverty Bay's DJ Barry Cup competition.

After an ordinary start with the bat on Saturday, Horouta made up for it with the ball, charging to a first-innings win against High School Old Boys and then cracking 100 for three inside nine overs, setting up an exciting run chase if HSOB dared to pursue 140 at 10 an over.

Dare, they did. Bollywood Stars HSOB had posted 75 after eight overs and while Scott Tallott (44 off 30 balls) was at the crease, they had a shot at winning the game outright.

But they came up short and lost seven wickets on their way to 100.

The upshot is that Horouta were rewarded for their positive play with a points bonanza, getting eight bowling points for all their wickets, four points for winning on first innings and two batting points for twice making it to 100.

Their haul of 14 points for the match, against the seven for HSOB, has put them in the lead in the competition by seven points, although they have played more games than HSOB and OBR and those two teams play a double-header this weekend.

Neither side can afford to have a poor weekend, as disastrous performances by either could put them out of contention for the final.

For Horouta, Keegan Martin produced a man-of-the-match performance at Harry Barker Reserve.

The left-arm medium pacer (3-25) knocked the top off the HSOB batting order in their first innings. He bowled one delivery that straightened from around the wicket and took Tallott's off stump.

Martin then stroked a splendid, game-changing unbeaten 29 off 15 balls.

Horouta captain David Situ said his team were lucky to get past 100 in their first innings but he was delighted that they restricted HSOB to 73.

Horouta then faced a choice — do everything possible to deny their opponents wickets or bat with freedom and look to score quickly.

They chose an aggressive mindset and Martin's efforts were supplemented by Graham Hudson scoring 21 off 11 balls and Situ getting 26 not out from 20 balls.

With his team just three wickets down when they rollicked to 100, Situ declared the innings closed, setting HSOB a difficult but enticing run chase.

HSOB made a bright start, before Ajay Kumar fell for 18 off 11 balls.

Tallott played something of a lone hand after that and, although he hit a glorious upper cut on to the hockey turf and HSOB kept pressing, his departure at the start of the ninth over damaged his team's hopes of stealing an unlikely win.

In the end, HSOB picked up a batting point for getting to 100 but were 40 short of their target when they ran out of overs.

HSOB captain Carl Shaw said the match was an exciting one to be part of.

“It shows how much fun that format can be — there were three games in one in just an afternoon.”

Shaw won the toss and chose to field.

“We started really well. There was a little in the pitch early but it was good to bat on.”

Horouta were in strife at 55-7 and HSOB opening bowler Marshall Norris took 3-43.

However, HSOB let their opponents off the hook and Horouta No.8 Chris Collier scored 34 not out.

“Marshall bowled exceptionally in both innings,” Shaw said.

“Unfortunately, we let them get 30-plus more runs than they should have scored.

“Then we batted the worst I have ever seen.”

Hudson made life uncomfortable for the HSOB batsmen when he bowled short of a length and he had a series of shouts for lbw — none given out — when he pitched up.

But it was Martin who snared the early wickets. Then Tushar Balat, a threat with his movement, chimed in with four wickets to finish off the tail.

Shaw said Horouta batted with purpose in their second innings and he appreciated Situ setting up the game for an exciting finish by batting positively and then allowing HSOB a shot at victory with a well-judged declaration.

HSOB gave it a good go and the reward for Horouta was that they took seven wickets.

Shaw said HSOB were in the hunt until the last two overs.

Horouta 112 off 31.4 overs (Chris Collier 34 not out; Carl Shaw 3-17, Marshall Norris 3-43, Baxter Mackay 2-10) and 100-3 off 8.5 overs (Keegan Martin 29 not out, David Situ 26 not out, Graham Hudson 21; Norris 3-26) beat High School Old Boys 73 off 21 overs (Tushar Balat 4-10, Martin 3-25, Parminder Kulaar 2-11) and 100-7 off 14 overs (Scott Tallott 44; Balat 3-37, Hudson 2-45).

positive play: Horouta batsman Keegan Martin hit 29 not out off 15 balls, putting his team in a commanding position in their game against High School Old Boys at Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday. Horouta picked up a first-innings win from the match and a bag-load of DJ Barry Cup competition points. Picture by Paul Rickard