Always a struggle for Taranaki
Tuesday, Feb 16 2021
Taranaki men’s cricket side put up another lacklustre performance in their final game of the season against Hawke's Bay.
Skipper “Icons Sports Bar” Mattie Thomas finally won a toss and elected to bowl first on a new surface with plenty of green grass on it. The opening bowlers, “Energy City Ford” Ryan Watson and Ethan Keller, failed to capitalise on the conditions as they were guilty of dishing up a boundary ball an over that allowed the Hawke's bay openers to get underway and put on a 67 run opening partnership. To the bowlers' credit, they hit back and when “India Todays” Ben Frewin dismissed both Stags batsmen Brad Schmulian and Christian Leopard cheaply the game was evenly poised at 102 for 4. The Hawke's Bay middle and lower order all contributed to their team's total as the Taranaki bowlers continued to chip away. Hawke's Bay was eventually dismissed for 269 after 69 overs, Watson was the pick of the bowlers with 5 for 80 off 20 overs.
Taranaki got off to the worst possible start with inform batsman “Taranaki Associated Cleaners” Dean Robinson dismissed with the second ball of the innings for a duck. Hawke's Bay seamer Liam Dudding picked up the prized wicket of Will Young for 13 and when the other opener, Sebastian Lauderdale Smith, was dismissed Taranaki was looking down the barrel at 51 for 3. “Eltham Vet Services” Liam Muggeridge and Davis Mills toiled hard to see their side through to 92 for 3 at stumps on day one.
Similar to day one where the bowlers took time to get warmed up, the batsmen did the same on day two as Taranaki lost two wickets in the first over of play, Muggeridge was dismissed for 30 with keeper Phil Barraclough not troubling the scorers. Mills continued to work hard but when he was dismissed for 38 Taranaki was 120 for 8 and the writing was on the wall, the Taranaki tail did not hang around for long with the side all for 142.
With Hawke's Bay guaranteed of the challenge their batsmen had a couple of hours in the middle with the game being called off at tea with Hawke's Bay at 97 for 4.
Taranaki finished a disappointing fifth in the six-team Furlong Cup competition.