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Poverty Bay Mixed Schools in ‘biggest’ game of year

Yesterday the Poverty Bay Mixed Schools team played their biggest game of the year.

In one sense, biggest means the longest because their clash with Matamata in the Year 8B Riverbend cricket camp was a 50-over affair — and the only opportunity these great young cricketers will have had to experience that format in this year’s tournament

Jimmy Holden’s crew also came up against the long and the short of it, facing up to Matamata’s six-foot-tall second-change seamer Zayden Bradley (two wickets for eight runs off three overs) and a tiny wizard with a big bag of tricks in Jack Dando (2-20 off five).

Matamata won the Round 4 fixture by 78 runs on an artificial pitch at Marewa Park.

Matamata captain Jimmy Butler won the toss, chose to bat and his outfit amassed 199-8. Opener Dando got to 59 before being bowled by Poverty Bay spearhead Jonah Reynolds, while Dylan Goodwin (22 not out) was in good touch at No.9.

Reynolds conceded only five runs in five overs, and left-armer Jack Holden, the ninth bowler used, got swing to take 3-34 in seven overs. Both bowlers were in superb form.

In response, Poverty Bay were dismissed for 121 in 42 overs — more than twice the number of overs they play in local competition.

Matamata coach Alastair Sherrard said: “Poverty Bay were persistent, Max Hammond did a great job as their ’keeper for 50 overs, and in the last 10 their bowlers got the ball to hoop back. The Bay fought hard with the bat, too.”

The game was played within sizeable boundaries.

Caleb Taewa, batting at No.6, made a patient 22 while Brandon Fearnley showed some nice touches in his 17 from No.5.

Bay coach Jimmy Holden recognises his boys’ tremendous effort throughout the four-day tourney.

“Jack Dando batted really well for his 50 and we dropped three catches in the slips,” he said.

“We kept things tight through the middle overs but they had a good push at the end, ran well and picked up some boundaries.

“Jack Holden was the pick of Poverty Bay’s bowlers yesterday with his three wickets, although Jonah Reynolds, Caleb Taewa, Arlo Willis and Connor Starck were all solid.”

Poverty Bay Mixed Schools have shown skill and character at Riverbend in the past three days.

Hutt District Black coach Gareth Greeks liked what he saw from the Bay on Tuesday afternoon.

“They’re a good bowling unit — good pace and length,” he said.

“Credit to them for the wickets they took; one or two hit the top of off-stump. Joel Kirkpatrick showed great discipline and he’s a strong on-side player, classy on the leg-glance.”

Left-arm swing bowler Jack Holden took 3-13 in four superb overs in the Bay’s opening game, his match-captain Reynolds having won the toss and chosen to bowl.

No.7 Liam Bateson led the Hutt scorers with 27, and second-drop Ashwyn Thakur made 21. The Hutt got to 152-9 and batted to term.

The Bay reached 114-9 in the chase and No.2 Kirkpatrick’s 94-minute innings of 30 from 58 balls hinted at fine powers of concentration against, among others, a great young leg-spinner in Luke Beams (2-13 off four overs).

The Bay lost by 38 runs with their highest partnership a ninth-wicket stand of 27 between Arlo Willis and Cam Walters.

In Round 3, Taranaki captain Charlie Broadmore won the toss and, having observed Poverty Bay’s fighting effort in the field, put that pluck to the test back-to-back at a short turnaround: Broadmore chose to bat first on the same Park Island deck.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Cohen Riddick retired for 54 off 60 balls and shared a 73-run opening stand with Nathan Fleming (22). No.4 Broadmore made 25 and No.6 Benjamin Sinclair shone with 51 from 36.

Taewa took 2-19 from three overs.

The ’Naki made 204-5 in 30 overs. The Bay bowlers conceded 40 extras as they toiled manfully.

Poverty Bay were then dismissed for 51 in 15.3 overs, Arlo Willis’s 11 off 14 balls at second-drop being their only individual knock in double figures.

Quickie Josh Taylor took 2-10 and bowled Bay No.1 Max Hammond with the first ball of the innings; Theo Soothill was the only other Taranaki Gold bowler to take two wickets, 2-5 in seven overs.

Round 4, 50 overs —

Matamata 199-8 (Jack Dando 59, Dylan Goodwin 22 no; Jack Holden 3-34) beat Poverty Bay Mixed Schools 114-9 (Caleb Taewa 22, Brandon Fearnley 17; Zayden Bradley 2-8, Jack Dando 2-20).