Two tons help win Hawke Cup
The Hawke Cup is back in Manawatu after twin centuries from Dave Meiring and Dane Cleaver secured a first-innings win over Bay of Plenty at the weekend.
Rain slowed things down on the first day of Manawatu's three-day challenge for the prestigious cup, but after bowling Bay of Plenty out for 216 on Saturday afternoon, Manawatu smashed their way into the lead yesterday.
It was a sweet result for Manawatu after they had the game won on the first innings against BOP in their challenge last year, but went on to lose the match outright.
"Everyone's stoked," Meiring said after scoring 128. "It's very similar team to the one that came up here last year, got the job done and lost it again."
It is the ninth time Manawatu has won the cup in its 114-year history.
Meiring came in at No 4 with the score at 33 for two, but he and captain Luke Murray got the score to 117 for three when Murray departed for 51.
But Meiring and Cleaver linked up and put on 128 for the sixth wicket in just 18 overs, as Manawatu scored 183 runs in the extended first session and proved to be the winning of the game.
Cleaver was on 102 not out with the score at 315 for six before they called the match off.
The result broke Manawatu's four-year drought with the Hawke Cup after they lost it to Otago Country in March, 2010.
"Now the job is to hold on to it," Meiring said. "That's easier said than done. As much as we've enjoyed this, it's a matter of keeping it."
Manawatu have the Tararua Shield one-day final against Wellington City in Palmerston North on Sunday, but will have to refocus for their first defence likely to be against Canterbury Country at Fitzherbert Park in two weeks.
BOP finished the day on 103 for one after rain only allowed 39 overs, then delayed play on Saturday.
But BOP collapsed on day two for a below par 216 with Manawatu seamer Bryn Templeman the pick of the bowlers, taking four for 39, while fellow medium fast bowler Navin Patel took three for 44, cleaning out the middle order.
Meiring said it was a case of wearing them down and was a good effort from the Manawatu bowlers.
Manawatu coach Mike Mason was delighted after the win, in his second season in charge of the team.
"We were just better than them," he said. "The guys played really well all year. We've dominated pretty much most of the season apart from a couple of close misses in one-dayers."
Cleaver was knackered after his century off 86 balls, but was pleased they got the result.
"Everyone's mentally pumped," he said. "We went so close last year but we worked hard all season and played well."
He said Murray and Meiring set the foundation for him to come out and bat on the flat pitch as they got one back over BOP.
"It's a great feeling," Cleaver said. "It's not so much revenge, it's just more after the disappointment of last year it's good to get one the other end of the scale."
Manawatu's Hawke Cup record 1928-30: 9 defences 1934-38: 15 defences 1940-47: 9 defences 1965-67: 9 defences 1993-94: 2 defences 1997-98: 0 defences 2002-03: 0 defences 2009-10: 2 defences 2013-14.