Manawatu got the vital Hawke Cup points they were after, beating Hawke's Bay on first innings at Manawaroa Park yesterday.
Manawatu needed at least first-innings points to overtake Hawke's Bay for any chance of a Hawke Cup challenge and did just that, dismissing Hawke's Bay 42 runs short of their total in the second day of the match.
Manawatu now sneak in front of Hawke's Bay after getting the seven points for the highest first-innings score. Getting one over Hawke's Bay was pleasing for Manawatu player-coach Mike Mason.
"It was a good way to do it."
He said his players played well and even though Hawke's Bay looked like they were in a good position early on the second day, Manawatu should have been in control of the game more.
"We dropped five catches but the boys bowled well. There were a lot of play and misses [from Hawke's Bay]. We didn't have very much luck at the start."
Manawatu captain Luke Murray set up the big total as he battled it out for 86 off 187 balls to provide the backbone of Manawatu's 267.
The middle and lower order all made contributions to the total, with Dane Cleaver (46), Arana Noema-Barnett (34), Tim Richards (28) and Mitch Renwick (22) all getting starts.
Batting at No 8, Richards put on crucial partnerships with the rest of the tail - batting with Noema-Barnett (25 runs), Mason (23) and Navin Patel (20).
Hawke's Bay's best bowler was fringe Central Districts off-spinner Ajaz Patel who took three for 47 and made Manawatu's time at the crease difficult.
CD squad members Andrew Mathieson and Stevie Smidt took two wickets each with their pace bowling.
In their turn at bat, Hawke's Bay made a good start and were at 101 for one.
They were in no hurry to attempt and reach Manawatu's total, batting slowly, and once their top-order gave way, Manawatu made inroads.
Michael Taiaroa top-scored for Hawke's Bay with 41 and both Jayden Waters and Bronson Meehan made 31 but no-one went on and they were all out for 225.
Manawatu's final game is against Wairarapa on January 26-27 and they will be going all out for an outright win which would see them top the Central Districts qualifying group for the Hawke Cup.
Hawke's Bay have to play Taranaki in the final round which should prove a tougher game for Hawke's Bay to get a first-innings or an outright win.
Manawatu 267 (Luke Murray 86, Dane Cleaver 46, Arana Noema-Barnett 34, Tim Richards 28, Mitch Renwick 22; Ajaz Patel 3-47, Stevie Smidt 2-33; Andrew Mathieson 2-38, Liam Rukawai 2-67) beat Hawke's Bay 225 (Michael Taiaroa 41, Jayden Waters 31, Bronson Meehan 31, Jacob Smith 24; Tim Richards 3-45, Mike Mason 2-35, Roald Badenhorst 2-37) on first innings.
- Manawatu Standard