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Bay save their best for last

They all agreed — on Saturday the Poverty Bay Mixed Schools team at Riverbend played their best cricket.

Jimmy Holden’s side in the Year 8B section finished their campaign with a loss by six wickets off the last ball of the 30-over match against Onslow of Wellington.

Poverty Bay’s Round 5 captain Caleb Taewa won the toss, chose to bat and — for the first time at this tourney — the Gisborne team played on good grass rather than an artificial pitch.

The Bay made the highest total of their four-day mission — 160 all out in exactly 30 overs. It was the second quality batting effort centred around Joel Kirkpatrick. He made 30 from No.2 against Hutt District Black in Round 1, and 31 at first-drop yesterday. Brandon Fearnley hit six boundaries in his 19-ball innings of 30, coming in at No.9, and No.10 Arlo Willis was equally good for 23 in 26 balls.

Seam bowlers Albie Lovie (2-11) and George Fullelove (2-12) were the best of Onslow’s attack.

Jarod Wysoczanski was as outstanding for 50 retired at No.6 as first-drop Thomas Hughson had been in his unbeaten 31 for Onslow, but their hero, from No.7, was the hard-hitting Lachlan Joe (10no).

With the scores tied, his cut-shot for four off the bowling of Connor Starck (0-18), with the field up, won the Wellington side the match. Starck, the 10th bowler of 11 used, had previously bowled overs 24, 26 and 28 for only eight runs.

Fearnley took 2-10 in two overs as fourth change and his fellow medium-pacer Manjot Singh (1-8), fifth change, was Poverty Bay’s other wicket-taker.

Coach Jimmy Holden was proud of the gutsy Bay mob.

“That was the boys’ most impressive performance and our best batting performance of the tournament,” he said.

“Defending 160, we were consistent in our bowling and our fielding was top-notch.

“Jarod played a faultless half-century to get Onslow back on track from 76-4 (20.2 overs), but our lads never dropped their heads and fought to the very last ball.

“I was stoked with their performance, throughout the tourney, and our Poverty Bay boys should be extremely proud of how they conducted themselves.”

Round 5, 30 overs —

Onslow 164-4 (Jarod Wysoczanski 50 retired, Thomas Hughson 31no; Brandon Fearnley 2-10) beat Poverty Bay Mixed Schools 160 (Joel Kirkpatrick 31, Brandon Fearnley 30, Arlo Willis 23; Albie Lovie 2-11, George Fullelove 2-12).