By Jim Allnatt
The Marie Raos Ray White Premiers were beaten on the first innings by Cornwall in the weekend in the side’s first loss for two seasons.
Cornwall took first use of the wicket and batted steadily throughout the day to compile 274, an innings built around a century by captain Guptill-Bunce. Donovan Grobbelaar struck early to leave Cornwall reeling at 9/2. It wasn’t so easy after that as the visitors put together a number of useful stands. Grobbelaar took two more wickets finishing with 4/50 off 19 overs. Adam Jones bowled 25 overs to take two wickets with Rudi Botadra, Taine Jolley and Jamie Brown taking one each.
Resuming on day two at 16/1, the Alpacas slumped to 78/6 at lunch and looked to be in real trouble. However Brian Barnard steadied the ship a bit with a composed 34 and then Rudi Botadra and Liam Winn led a fightback with a gritty 78 run partnership. Botadra scored 46 and was desperately unlucky not to score a half century and Winn showed real class with his 34 runs. Once Botadra was dismissed one end was opened up and the innings was soon over at 170.
Fortunately for Howick other results in the weekend worked in their favour as some off the bottom sides defeated more favoured opposition leaving the Alpacas occupying third place in the table.