H-K's smashing end to Hawke Cup season
Horowhenua-Kapiti cricket ended its Hawke Cup season by smashing Whanganui about in their two-day match at Kena Kena Park on the weekend.
The first-innings win came on the back of a mammoth batting effort led by 18 year old wicket keeper Matt Fowler.
Fowler said he did not expect to hit 179 when he went out to bat at number seven after lunch on the first day.
''We were in a little bit of trouble when I went in there, I was really just looking to get a partnership with the team, but one thing led to another.''
He set about rebuilding the innings with player-coach Ewen Thompson, 88, and ended up batting out the rest of Saturday and into Sunday.
It was the longest innings that Fowler has ever batted - and was ''pretty surreal'' for a player in his first full season of senior representative cricket.
''That's one of the funny things about cricket, just the feeling you get when you're in there and the guys are bowling 130kmh, and you're picking it up early, and your feet are moving automatically and you're seeing it really well.''
Fowler said the 179 came tinged with a little disappointment given how close he came to a double century.
''Obviously it was in my head [to reach 200] but the ball I got was in the slot to hit and I went after it - and caught a thick outside edge and got caught down on the boundary. That's cricket I guess.''
The 179 combined with Thompson's knock and half centuries by Andrew Lamb and tailender Matthew Bacon saw H-K through to 504-all out.
H-K dismissed Whanganui for 310, which included a five-wicket haul for seamer Caleb Gaylard, then forced the visitors to bat out the final overs of the second day - Whanganui eventually finishing on 100-3.
Despite netting its first winning points of the Hawke Cup season, H-K remained at the bottom of the Zone 2 table, tied with Whanganui.
Coach Thompson said the weekend's game was the first time the team put together a complete batting performance on day one.
''The theme of the year is that we've put up a strong fight in the second innings.''
He was full of praise for his team, which has ''fronted up all year'' and built strong team spirit.
''There's been glitches but it hasn't been for the whole game. The boys are learning.''
Thompson was upbeat for the rep team's future especially given young talent like Fowler, Bacon and Gaylard.
''We just need to keep building - we've really shown that we can compete this year.''
- Horowhenua Mail