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Pre-season win and loss for Gisborne Boys’ High School

There aren’t many places around the country where cricket is played on grass at this time of year.

The Gisborne Boys’ High School first 11’s pre-season hit-out with Geyser City Cricket Club at the Harry Barker Reserve produced a 20-run Twenty20 win for the home team on Sunday, and victory by seven wickets to Geyser CCC in the 45-over game on Monday.

First 11 head coach Malcolm Trowell knows what a gem his team and Poverty Bay Cricket have in Harry Barker Reserve.

“It was great for our boys to have a couple of matches before the club stuff starts,” he said.

“On Sunday our captain, Nathan Trowell, won the toss, took first knock and we batted well for 126-3 . . . 120-plus on a green No.2 wicket with big boundaries set us up for the win. The bowling needs some work but these are early days, and we’ll improve.

“We introduced three new players to our squad during the exchange — all-rounder Alex Shanks, outswing bowler Bekko Page and leg-spinner Dylan Foster — and all are better for the experience.

“Nathan (38 not out off 51 balls, from first-drop), Sebastian Wilson (35 from 32, at No.4) and Cohen Loffler (27 off 23, at No.2) showed some promise with the bat in the T20, while our seam bowler Adam Situ took 2-9 off two overs and off-spinner Daniel Stewart took 2-10 off four, also in Game 1.”

Stewart is accurate, flights the ball skilfully and gives it a tweak. This season, he has an important job to do for GBHS.

Medium-pacers Liam du Plessis (1-17 off four) and Liam Adams (1-19 off three) were the pick of GCCC’s attack on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday the visitors’ captain, Sam Lund (4-15 off four, in at first-change), deceptive new-ball man Cohen Stewart (2-8 off 5.3 overs) and Year 9 student Riley Kusabs (2-8 off four, the fifth bowler used) saw to it that while GBHS had again won the toss and batted, this time they would be heavily restricted.

GBHS were all out for 109 in 34.3 overs. Loffler fought hard from No.2 for 18 in 55 minutes, while No.11 Page — on debut — gritted it out to make four runs off 47 balls in one hour.

Geyser reached the target in 28 overs.

The home team’s biggest partnership in Game 1 was 54 for the third wicket between Trowell and Wilson. In the 45-over game, the opening pair of Luke Fisher (10) and Loffler (18) reached 30.

Lund and Kusabs — who didn’t bowl in Game 1 of their East Coast tour — tested the Boys’ High top order on Monday. The towering Lund’s extra pace and Kusabs’ tight off-stump line made scoring off the bat difficult, although the Geyser crew bowled 51 wides in the first innings on Monday.

Bustling left-armer Travis O’Rourke (1-5 off three) and Year 13 student Matthew Foster (1-10 off three) bowled well in defence of 109.

GCCC coach Crispian Stewart, whose side included players from Rotorua BHS, John Paul College, Rotorua Lakes HS and Western Heights HS, was proud of how his promising unit came together in Gisborne, as was his captain, Lund.

“It was great to see everyone contribute over the two days, and especially to see the learnings from Day 1 to Day 2, the improvements boys made,” Lund said.

“We’d love to come back.”

GBHS skipper Nathan Trowell said his team got a lot out of both games.

“In the first innings of the T20, we batted with intent,” he said.

“Daniel then backed that up with a magnificent bowling spell in the middle overs.”

Alex Shanks
Sebastian Wilson