Consistency key to HIBS First XI cricket success


Story courtesy of College Sport Media

Photo by Hamish Wareham

The Hutt International Boys’ School’s First XI recent alumni boasts two current Black Caps.

Rachin Ravindra and Ben Sears (also a former dux of the school) recently played in the two-test series for New Zealand against Australia.

Ravindra followed up his double century from earlier in the summer against South Africa with fighting knocks of 59 and 82 while Sears took 4 for 90 in Australia’s second innings in Christchurch.

While these two former students were performing at the highest level, the current HIBS First XI was in the middle of a run of 17 consecutive wins.

The winning streak started at the end of January and took in wins over Nelson, Rathkeale and Marlborough Boys’ Colleges (quadrangular tournament), Whanganui Collegiate (two-day match), St Thomas’ of Canterbury, Palmerston North Boys’ High School and over the Willows and Wanderers Cricket Clubs.

Plus, of course, a clean sweep of eight consecutive wins including this past Saturday’s final over Scots College in Wellington’s Premier Youth Boys 50-over competition.

Against Scots, HIBS batted first and scored 280 for 3, with opener Carter Birmingham scoring an even 100 runs off 137 balls, wicket-keeper- batter Lewis Jeffreys 67 off 82 and captain Connor Gatward an unbeaten 67 off 51 deliveries.

In reply, HIBS had Scots 30 for 3 at one point, but the Strathmore finalists recovered to at one stage needing 114 at a run a ball with 5 wickets in hand. The HIBS attack responded, snared dangerman Alex McAlsan for 81 and bowled them out for 208, for a 78-run win. Wicket-keeper Jeffreys backed up his batting by taking six catches.

Skipper Connor Gatward said that win was typical of the team’s efforts so far in 2024.

“We have been consistent all summer,” said Connor. “What’s been really good is that the batters and bowlers have backed each other up, so when the batters haven’t done so well the bowlers have stepped up and won us games, and when the bowling hasn’t clicked the batting has pulled us through and won us games.”

HIBS’ 2024 started off with the Quadrangular tournament in Nelson, which clashed with the Wellington U17 represeantive programme that saw four players absent including Connor who is also Wellington’s captain.

With a further five players new to the team, Head Coach Paul Brennan blooded five new players and expectations were more than met.

With these wins under their belt and the full complement back the HIBS First XI quickly gelled in what was expected to be an even competition, with Scots, St Pat’s Town, St Pat’s Silverstream and last year’s National Gillette Cup champions Wellington College all expected to be hard to beat on their day.

HIBS won all these games with bonus points (by winning by more than 40 percent of runs on the board if batting first or by bowling the opposition out inside 40 overs defending a target).

Captain Connor said beating Whanganui Collegiate late in the match was a highlight.

“There was 10 minutes left in the day and all they had to do was block it out for a few more overs, but Benny [Benjamin Byrne] bowled a bounce at their guy, and he tried to pull it but only as far as leg slip and I stuck my left hand and it just stuck in the mitt.”

Plus the win over Scots this past Saturday.

“Against Scots in the final, Carter [Birmingham] scoring a hundred made the day special, and it was nice being out there batting with him when he got it.

“The pitch was green and at HIBS teams have been getting bowled out for 120, but it turned out to be a road and we managed to post a good score. They batted well though, so it was a good, tough game.”

After beating Scots on Saturday, the team backed this up by beating the Wanderers club on Sunday.

In the PYB competition, the consistency of the team is highlighted by statistics of both the batting and bowling group.

Connor scored 285 runs at an average of 71, Carter Birmingham 274 at 39 and Lewis Jeffreys 236 at 51, while other batters also produced handy contributions throughout.

In the eight matches including the final against Scots, Henry Lock took 16 wickets, and Aiden Bailey and Benjamin Byrne and Ollie Saunderson 15 apiece.

Orthodox left arm spinner Saunderson was a standout across all 17 matches, snaring 49 wickets in all games.

The HIBS First XI now has Gillette Cup to look forward to in December at Lincoln University.

Until then, most members of the team are involved in winter sports, mostly football, rugby, basketball and hockey.


Tawa College win Gillette Venus Cup

The Tawa College girls First XI boast four current internationals and former players playing in the White Ferns – England series in captain Sophie Devine, Melie and Jess Kerr and Georgia Plimmer.

Tawa College will be representing Wellington in the Gillette Venus Cup at the end of the year, after beating Wellington Girls’ College by 7 wickets in the Wellington Qualifying Final last week.

Wellington Girls’ College batted first in the final and posted 97, but Tawa chased this down with 7 wickets in hand, opener Baylee Meroiti scoring 32* and Greta Abbott hitting the winning runs with 4 balls to spare.

Tawa College captain Ava Conroy was a tournament standout, scoring 237 runs and taking 16 wickets.

Other notable performers were Scots trio Neha Ramanathan, Lily Clark, and Anvi Verma who all surpassed 100 runs, Charlotte Caudle playing for Paraparaumu College (186 runs) Tawa’s Mia Malherbe (154 runs) and Wellington Girls’ year 9 student Melanie Robinson who took 13 wickets. 

Article added: Thursday 28 March 2024


Latest News