A sensational performance from Bay of Plenty has seen them trounce Hamilton and win the Hawke Cup after a record-breaking batting display at the weekend.
After Hamilton won the coveted silverware in 2011 and held it through their four defences last summer, the cup was whipped off them in the first challenge of the season by a very determined BOP side.
The match at Galloway Park was called off before tea on the third and final day yesterday after the challengers had racked up their highest ever Hawke Cup score and won the drawn fixture on the first innings.
After the hosts won the toss and were bowled out for 255 on Friday, BOP went on to amass a massive 701 to rewrite their association's record books.
Opener Joe Carter batted on all three days of the match, spending a tad under eight hours at the wicket to post the association's highest individual score, with 187.
The 20-year-old hit 15 fours and a six in his 436-ball stay, with Hamilton made to pay after dropping him three times before he reached three figures.
Not long had Carter put himself in the record books, than Brett Hampton overtook him.
At lunch yesterday the hosts were keen for the game to be called off, however BOP wanted Hampton to bat on to try and make more history - which he did by ending on 194 (from 210 balls in 253 minutes) with his knock featuring 24 fours and three sixes.
Carter and No 3 Bharat Popli, who was dismissed for 99, put on 208 for the second wicket as they batted almost 70 overs on Saturday to demoralise the Hamilton attack, who ended up taking the third new ball and staying in the field for 196.2 overs.
"I thought they were phenomenal the way they batted," Hamilton coach Nathan Daley said. "They looked in trouble to the spinners the entire day nearly but they just gutsed it out. I reckon they hit three balls in the air on that day and it was the three catches we dropped. Every single other run they got was along the ground."
Daley looked back to the second session on the opening day as the turning point, after Hamilton got to 108-1 before losing regular wickets.
"We always want to bat first in these kind of games and look at 350 minimum and we always want to bat a day," he said.
"They bowled well after lunch and I think they were a bit more patient than us and we played some stupid, dumb shots. I could probably say nine out of the 10 batters got themselves out."
Daley acknowledged that someone had to go on and get a big hundred, but that his batsmen have struggled for the past year.
However, his team still rated themselves a chance with runs on the board in an important match.
But that hope was quickly diminished on a pitch that, while good for batting, still offered a bit for the spinners, who Daley felt bowled very well.
"I was pretty proud of them, they toiled the whole time and kept trying, they never ever gave up," he said of his bowlers.
While Daley has played in a lot of Hawke Cup matches with successful Hamilton sides, he had never seen 700 posted.
"We've got 500 a few times and 580, but I don't think we've ever passed 600.
"They deserved to beat us the way they did. They were actually light years ahead of us in this game and it showed on the scoreboard."
Bay of Plenty now face the first of their three potential defences for the season on February 8-10.
AT A GLANCE
Hamilton 255 (M Santner 60; T Goodwin 4-74, B Hampton 3-53) lost to Bay of Plenty 701 (B Hampton 194, J Carter 187, B Popli 99, M McCann 69; J Hatwell 3-96) on the first innings
- © Fairfax NZ News
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