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Alex Lees in Aotearoa

January 28 2017 at 9:04 AM
Pyrahtechnics  (Login Pyrahtechnics)

 
Alex Lees made his debut for the Bay of Plenty in the Hawke Cup, currently 208 not out as the defending title holders are 367-3 at stumps on Day 1/3

http://scoring.blackcaps.co.nz/livescoring/match4347/scorecard.aspx

Coincidentally I happen to be holidaying in the land of the White Cloud for a few weeks, currently in Tauranga. Luck might have it the Bay of Plenty were at home this weekend so naturally I had to go over to the Bay Oval and see how our Yorkshire opener gets on.

I arrived shortly before lunch to see Bay of Plenty around 67-1. With a very basic scoreboard it took a while to spot Alex Lees in the middle, but was recognised once he was doing his trademark back of the bat angle checking prior to facing a delivery.

The pitch looked used, presumably from New Zealand's Twenty 20 matches against Bangladesh and runs had to be earned. Lees made run scoring so easy, almost having all the time in the world to play his shots and looked untroubled against a relatively oiled Manaku Counties bowling attack. The BoP opening batsman played more diligently in comparison and faced accurate bowling, but was under no.pressure to score when Lees kept the scoreboard ticking.

Lees seemed to play more with more aggression, than his usual technically correct game and upped the ante by playing cutting the ball, pulling and driving past the covers for four. When the spinner came on, Lees soon used his feet going down the track and hitting over the bowlers head for six.

Even when Lees was scoring freely, he did offer a couple of half chances. One shot narrowly went over the top of short cover for 4, nicked a ball past an empty 2nd/3rd slip cordon and nicked one off the spinner which went over a fairly close 1st slip fielder. His timing not precise, but understandable given the slowish wicket and still a fair way from match sharpness. In all fairness to Manaku Counties, they fielded really sharp in the hot and sunny weather at a standard almost at County Championship level.

As Lees reached his century, he briefly held his bat up to the pavilion in front of around 30-40 spectators outdoors. Eventually his batting partner and BoP opening batsman fell on 86 trying to slash the spinner off a rank delivery but was caught off point. Manaku Counties got a couple more quick wickets, which Lees slowed down the scoring rate to his usual County Championship game.

Lees was briefly involved in an exchange with the opposite spin bowler, which Lees pulled out of batting just as the bowler was at the point of delivery and the ball hit the stumps. Umpire called a dead ball, much to the annoyance of the bowler who exchanged further words with Lees maintaining his rights. Next delivery, bowler pulled up at the point of delivery in a game of kidology, but Lees had the last laugh who created the following ball past covers for 4.

As Day 1 was nearing a close, Lees upped the ante to get towards 190. A few members of the crowd was getting excited at the possibility of a debutant scoring a double century. Lees carefully got close to the landmark, before playing a shot at long off for 3 to reach 200, which was greatly appreciated by spectators and celebrated modestly with a held up bat and handshake with the batting partner before stumps was called. His new team mates keenly made their way outdoors to congratulate such a fine knock.

 
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Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Alex Lees in Aotearoa

January 28 2017, 9:09 AM 

Thanks for posting, much appreciated.

 
 
Dwight_Schrute
(Login Dwight_Schrute)

Re: Alex Lees in Aotearoa

January 28 2017, 9:21 AM 

Excellent post, thanks for sharing.

 
 
Phil
(Login ExiledinNotts)

Re: Alex Lees in Aotearoa

January 28 2017, 11:02 AM 

Thank you for posting an excellent read.

 
 
Anglian Exile
(Login AnglianExile)

Re: Alex Lees in Aotearoa

January 28 2017, 11:23 AM 

Really good to read about this: thanks for taking the trouble. Hope you have a great holiday.

 
 
WS55
(Login WibseySimon55)

Re: Alex Lees in Aotearoa

January 28 2017, 12:09 PM 

Wow, that was a nice read on a late January day! Thank you.

 
 
Martyn
(Login Devonyorkie)

Great report

January 28 2017, 12:27 PM 

Many thanks for posting, sounds like you had a great day.

Good to hear that young Alex is doing so well, let's hope we see more of the same this summer

 
 
Stu
(Login StuartRA)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Great report

February 2 2017, 1:39 PM 


 
 
sid
(Login sid-don)
Assistant Moderator

Re: Great report

February 2 2017, 1:42 PM 

Does anyone know if this game has 'first class' status? It is a three day game so may have.

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: Great report

February 2 2017, 2:16 PM 

The Plunket Shield is New Zealand's first class competition; this regional comp seems to be one level below.

Why would any team, in a 3-day match, bat for almost 200 overs and score over 700, and not leave time to bowl the opposition out twice?

I would love to have been there to watch Alex bat, but I'm not so sure about the rest of it: 701 all out, 220 all out, match drawn.

 
 
Martin
(Login Martinh00)

Re: Great report

February 2 2017, 2:36 PM 

Dave

This Wikipedia entry explains how the comp works. Seems like a higher score on first innings is as good as a win.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawke_Cup


 
 
WS55
(Login WibseySimon55)

Re: Great report

February 5 2017, 8:11 AM 

Alex's team are the defending champions. It's a 'Challenge' basis, so if they lose they lose the cup. And if the match doesn't go to completion, first innings decides it. Easy choice for them just to keep on batting.

It does seem a weird set up in terms of the rules. More like conkers than cricket -- "my sixer beats your fourer -- becomes a tenner."

 
 

Dave Morton
(Login DaveMorton)

Re: Great report

February 5 2017, 12:42 PM 

NZ have a similar set-up in provincial rugby. The Ranfurly Shield is contested on a challenge basis and adds extra interest to the ITM Cup competition, which is the main event for the Provinces, nowadays. I suspect it stood alone in the days when Rugby Union was frightened to death of the evil of leagues. [Only about 80 years!]

It's more like a boxing title than conkers, but I get your point; the right to challenge is governed by the regular fixture list, I imagine.

So, is Alex's team also competing in a proper league, in addition to this 'challenge' concept?

 
 
 
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