Tough on pitch for Suburbs

JULIAN RAETHEL
Last updated 05:00 06/11/2012

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Suburbs New Lynn were able to claw back a poor start at the crease on day one of their two-dayer Hedley Howarth Trophy clash against Takapuna at Ken Maunder Park on Saturday.

Rain affected play with three enforced breaks and the game eventually saw only 49 of the allotted 98 overs played.

The defending champions were sent in to bat on a very green pitch after Takapuna won the toss.

The decision paid dividends for the visitors as Suburbs lost three quick wickets in the first seven overs.

Takapuna's Nigel Collins claimed the wickets of openers Sachin Variath for four runs and Michael Barry for a duck after being caught by keeper Craig Cachopa with the umpire determining Barry had nicked the ball down leg side.

Max Montgomery was the next victim given lbw to Greg Johnson and Suburbs were in trouble 3/7.

Victor Davies and Ben Hick finally got the ball rolling for the home side with Hick unbeaten on 71 to leave Suburbs New Lynn on a positive 5/154 at the end of day one.

Suburbs coach Darren Eckford says Barry helped pull them out of the fire.

"We only had the light roller in use for the preparations and it was a juicy green pitch," he says.

"Takapuna probably got away with a few deliveries as it was fairly bowler-friendly but we hung on.

"It was the best innings I've ever seen Ben Hick play and hopefully he can push on this Saturday."

Day two will see Suburbs with a limited 23 overs of batting and Eckford knows they will have to come out all guns blazing.

"The pitch should be a lot faster, so we need to take advantage of that," he says. Across town Waitakere were up against Eden Roskill at Te Atatu Park on day one of their Tom Hellaby Trophy two-day match and wasted no time after being put in to bat. Despite a rain-affected match Waitakere posted 9/289 in their 86 overs with mixed performances on the batting card.

Opener Sean Chick was dismissed for eight runs before Hayden Pye-Redfearn posted 77, Blayne Fraser hit 61 and No 6 batsmen Praneel Hira smacked 67 off 69 balls including six fours and a six.

The team's total left Waitakere coach Nazeem Smith with plenty to ponder for this weekend.

"I'm sure Eden Roskill would have liked to bowl us all out and denying them is nice, but we're concentrating more on our own game heading into day two.

"We don't want to waste time, we're looking for the win," he says.

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