A record-breaking opening partnership of 342 couldn't earn Taranaki a much-needed outright Hawke Cup win at the weekend.
The star pair of Peter Ingram and Dean Robinson destroyed the Horowhenua-Kapiti bowling attack at Levin, recording Taranaki's highest opening partnership in a two-day match.
Former Black Caps opener Ingram was particularly severe, smashing an unbeaten 201, which included 21 fours and eight sixes - one sailing over the boundary and smashing a car windscreen.
His innings was the highest by a Taranaki batsman in a two-day match, bettering the 200 Rodney Brown scored against Hutt Valley in 1989.
With Revital Fertilisers Taranaki declaring at 342-0, Ingram did not get the chance to go past his highest score of 247, scored for Central Districts against Northern Districts in Hamilton in the 2008-09 season.
Up-and-comer Robinson finished on 126 not out, which included nine fours. The chanceless knock followed his unbeaten 105 against Wairarapa two weeks ago.
Taranaki then ripped into the Horowhenua-Kapiti batting lineup, rolling them for 119 and enforcing the follow-on.
The visitors looked on track for an important outright win early on day two yesterday, with Horowhenua-Kapiti struggling at 44-3. But the middle and lower orders had other ideas - particularly another former Black Cap, player-coach Ewen Thompson.
Batting at No 9, Thompson scored 111 and joined in a stubborn partnership with No 5 Matt Jones, who made 91. Jones retired hurt on 82 but returned with his side seven wickets down.
He helped Thompson and No 11 batsman Andrew Pine take the total through to 395 before the final wicket fell with just seven overs left in the day. Needing 175 runs from seven overs - 25 runs an over - for the outright, Taranaki called off the match.
"To be fair that would have been a hiding to nothing," Taranaki coach Kerry O'Neill said. "It just wasn't possible."
O'Neill said his team didn't take their chances on day two.
"I think we dropped Ewen once straight after tea, which was crucial. To be fair, Horowhenua batted well."
O'Neill praised Ingram and Robinson's batting on Saturday.
"In terms of Taranaki cricket, it was a good day to build a partnership like that then bowl them out for 119.
"However, it's lost a little bit with what happened on the second day. We had a whole day to bowl them out and we couldn't do it so we missed the opportunity to get an extra three points."
Competition leaders Hawke's Bay were closing in on an outright win over Wairarapa yesterday.
Taranaki 342-0 in 68 overs (P Ingram 201no, D Robinson 126no) met Horowhenua-Kapiti 119 (A Simonsen 45, C Gaylard 25no; R McLeod 4-12, R Northcott 4-24) and 395 (D Sanson 22, A Simonsen 38, M Jones 91, C Gaylard 29, M Fowler 42, M Jones 91, E Thompson 111, J Bowick 23; R McLeod 3-57, J Watkins 2-30).
First-innings points to Taranaki.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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