Fergus Hickey - Round 5 Preview
Published on 28 Feb 2019
Hamilton emerged from round four with an unassailable lead in the Fergus Hickey Men's Championship. However, there is still plenty to play for in round five as points count towards finding next season's Hawke Cup challenger (decided on calendar year points). Hamilton had earlier qualified in 2018 as this season's challenger and they play the holder (either Nelson or Hawke's Bay depending on the result of this weekend's challenge) on March 9-11.
This weekend's games see Waikato Valley host Bay of Plenty and Counties Manukau at home to Northland.
Hamilton completed their programme in round four with a comprehensive first innings win over Waikato Valley at St. Pauls. Hamilton responded to Waikato Valley's 190 all out with 404 for the loss of seven wickets. Anish Desai starred with a century, and there were half-centuries to James Field, Elliot Santner and Keir Bettley.
In the other round four match Bay of Plenty desperately tried to position themselves to overhaul Hamilton with an outright win over Counties Manukau at the Bay Oval. However, the last Counties Manukau pair defied the BOP bowlers to hold on for a draw. Centuries to Bharat Popli and Joe Carter and 94 from Peter Drysdale saw BOP declare at 401 for the loss of only four wickets. CM managed 143 in their first innings despite half-centuries to Ash Vodnala and Scott Johnston. They fared a little better second time around, but still trailed BOP when stumps came with them 213 for 9. Scott Johnson batted 42 balls for his 1 not out. Earlier ND U17 rep Marcel Marconi made an outstanding 77 on debut.