NPOB's decade-long dominance continues

New Plymouth Old Boys middle order batsman James McDougall pushes the ball through the off-side on day two of the ...
Robert Charles/Fairfax NZ

New Plymouth Old Boys middle order batsman James McDougall pushes the ball through the off-side on day two of the Taranaki two-day cricket final at Pukekura Park on Saturday.

The New Plymouth Old Boys legendary record in the Taranaki premier grade two-day final continued on Sunday with a first innings victory over Inglewood at Pukekura Park.

The Ballance-sponsored Old Boys side have dominated the longer form of the game in the last decade or so, winning the two-day title nine times in the last 12 seasons.

After the match, Old Boys captain Dean Stewart said he was chuffed the way his team bounced back after its loss to Inglewood in the one-day final and semifinal loss in the Twenty 20.

"We pride ourselves on this format [two-day] and you're not defeated if you lose, only if you don't get back up and we certainly did that," he said.

Stewart was reluctant to single out any individual players saying it was a team effort that won his side the title. But the skipper praised Matt Shaw's two 50s in the match and Jamie Watkins' five wickets in the final.

"Mattie's 50 in difficult batting conditions in the first innings was vital to us," Stewart said. "We just wouldn't have had a total to bowl at if it wasn't for him.

And to do it again in the second [innings], that was great.

"Whopper [Watkins] bowled the whole innings and for him to do what he did with the ball and Mattie to do that with the bat and contribute with the fielding was pretty cool."

Stumps in the match were pulled late Sunday with 18 overs left to be bowled in the 45 allowed after rain delayed the start of play on the final day until 3.30pm.

Old Boys made 161 in their first innings on day one on Friday.

Inglewood resumed their first innings on 125-7 on Saturday. It was a key time in the match for both sides with unsettled weather forecast for the weekend and with the title likely to be won on a first innings.

Old Boys took their chances picking up the three remaining wickets in the first nine overs of play. Matt Simpson added just one run to his overnight total of 10 and was out caught by a brilliant one- handed catch by Stewart at first slip. In a double blow Jason Dombroski was run out on 65, caught short of his ground trying for a cheeky single.

After that Inglewood folded and were all out for 146, 15 runs shy of Old Boys first innings total.

Watkins was the main destroyer for Old Boys, picking up five wickets off his 25 overs.

In their second turn at bat, Old Boys started well and after facing 27 overs got through to 123-3 at stumps on Saturday.

Rain delayed the start of play on day three yesterday until 3.30pm with 45 overs left in the day.

Inglewood toiled away and were rewarded when taking a further wicket, but it wasn't enough and with the asking rate if Inglewood were to bat again up to over 10 runs an over, Inglewood captain Hayden McIntyre signalled match end.

The man of the match for Inglewood was easily Dombroski who bowled brilliantly in both innings, taking five scalps in Old Boys' second innings to finish with an impressive 11 in the match.

"He's been good for us over a lot of years and he's proved again," said McIntyre.

"It's just a huge effort, but in the end we couldn't win those key moment in the first dig so we can't blame anyone other than ourselves.

McIntyre said despite missing out of a threepeat of titles this season– his side won the one-day title and Twenty20 championship - it was a great season for the club. "I think we've earned a lot of respect as a team this year and we thoroughly deserved it because we worked hard."

 - Taranaki Daily News

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