Harry Findlay in 2009, when he was awarded an ICC medal for services to cricket. The former Hawke’s Bay cricket chairman is now the statistician – aged 80, not out. Photo / NZME
The 29 runs scored by Wairarapa in a representative cricket match in Napier on Saturday was the lowest score against Hawke’s Bay in over 50 years, and the second-lowest since at least 1940.
Bay Cricket Association chairman Harry Findlay – who’s now 80-years-old and turned to the role of statistician four years ago – is the keeper of Hawke’s Bay representative cricket records dating back to the first game in 1874, and says he was being asked “the question” even before Wairarapa had finished the ill-fated innings at the start of a two-day, second-round Central Districts Furlong Cup match at Nelson Park.
His search revealed Wairarapa scored one more run than the 28 scored by Poverty Bay against Hawke’s Bay in the 1970-1971 season, the lowest since at least World War II (1939-1945).
But it was two more than Hawke’s Bay’s lowest score in what is now known as ‘red-ball’ cricket – the 27 runs scored against Poverty Bay in the 1878-1879 season.
As it happens, searches for cricket records tend to make one thing lead to another, and Findlay also discovered that when Brett Johnson scored 100 not out then claimed 5-20 on Sunday to wrap up what was only his third match for Hawke’s Bay, it was only the third time any player had scored a century and taken a five-wicket bag in a match for the association’s First XI.
The first was in Hawke’s Bay’s first Hawke Cup challenge in 1924, when Bill Bernau scored 136 of Hawke’s Bay’s 202 and then took 5-19 as holder Nelson was all out for 99.
Bernau also scored 61 of Hawke’s Bay’s 119 in its second innings, and took 3-57 as Nelson rebounded with 223-8 in the second innings to claim what had looked like an unlikely victory.
The second time was in a two-day non-cup game in December, 1945, when Tom Reaney took 5-52 in Manawatū’s innings of 110 and then scored 149 of the 310-5 Hawke’s Bay had scored before the game was rained-off.
Tuppy Diack claimed the other Manawatū wickets, taking 5-57, but he became better known as a rugby player, with over 100 matches for Otago and one test for the All Blacks against the British Lions in 1959.
The outright points for Hawke’s Bay’s win by an innings and 134 runs at the weekend, in what was captain Angus Schaw’s record 100th Senior match for the association and a bounce-back from a loss by an innings and 29 runs in a Hawke Cup defence against Canterbury Country a week earlier, was an important result in the race to represent its zone in a Hawke Cup challenge in January-February.
Taranaki took the Furlong Cup lead with an outright win over Whanganui at the weekend, while Manawatū, which claimed first innings points against Hawke’s Bay last month, had a first innings win over Horowhenua-Kapiti, over whom Hawke’s Bay will be all-out for maximum points in Napier on December 3-4.
Meanwhile, the Hawke’s Bay women’s side was well beaten in its one-day Mike Shrimpton Trophy Central Districts competition opener in Palmerston North on Saturday, all out for 91 in its 40 overs, with Nelson replying at better than five an over to score 94-4 off 17.5 overs. Hawke’s Bay’s next match is against Taranaki in Palmerston North on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Canterbury Country safely defended the Hawke Cup for the first time since its innings-and-29-runs challenge win over the Bay, with a drawn match against Southland in Rangiora, batting first and scoring 421 before dismissing the challenger for 161.