This weekend's (10-12 March 2017) Hawke Cup Direct Challenge against Zone Four Challenger Southland, will bring up a notable achievement in the Bay of Plenty Cricket all-time appearance records. Bay of Plenty captain Peter Drysdale will play his 80th game in the Bay of Plenty Senior Men's team uniform and move into outright third place on the all-time appearance records.
Entering the Hawke Cup game with Southland, RPO Drysdale shares third equal place in the appearance stakes, with Grant Manners (79), behind only Derek Beard (105) and Michael Wright (102).
The current Bay of Plenty skipper made his Bay of Plenty debut in the ND One-Day tournament against Hamilton on the 15th November 2009. Since his Bay of Plenty debut, Drysdale has scored 2782 runs which includes three centuries and a highest score of 119. As a part-time bowler Peter has taken 11 wickets during his tenure in the Bay of Plenty representative team.
Looking forward to the last Hawke Cup Direct Challenge of the season, Bay of Plenty Captain Peter Drysdale said "We are very excited about the last Hawke Cup Challenge of the season and hosting Southland who have such a rich Hawke Cup history. Hawke Cup fixtures are always special and we will be doing our best to continue the momentum that we have built as a team to this point and retain the Hawke Cup again this weekend".
"As we all know cricket can be a fickle game and it is essential that we continue to execute the basics as well as we can for long periods. There is a good feeling within the team environment and we have been working hard to give us the best chance to perform our skills under pressure"
"Personally, it is a privilege to bring up 80 games for Bay of Plenty this weekend. I have also been lucky enough to play within some of the most successful teams in Bay of Plenty Cricket history, for the majority of my career. Between seasons I have seen how small alterations can unravel or add to the success of this team".
"It is mine along with the other senior player's responsibility, to ensure that we uphold the standards that we have forged our previous success on and encourage the group to push the limits and take them to new levels". "Regardless of the number of matches played, the key is to contribute as heavily as possible with bat and ball and back each other up in the field by taking catches and creating a winning presence".
"Having Alex (Lees) as part of our group this year has increased the standard, particularly for our batsmen, of what we can strive towards. I have told him that we are all going to be attempting to hunt down Bay of Plenty record score set in his debut match in January against Counties Manukau" "We all thank him for his efforts and contribution to our team this season and wish him well on his return to the UK".
Bay of Plenty has previously played Southland on three occasions in Hawke Cup Direct Challenges - losing all three matches. The first was at Queens Park in Invercargill 27/29 March 1976, where the home team batted Bay of Plenty out of the game posting 341 in their first turn at bat, with RW Anderson top scoring with 107 runs.
The second meeting between this weekend's adversaries, was 9/11 March 1987 at Blake Park, Mount Maunganui, where the South Island side relieved the hosts of the NZ Cricket prize, in a low scoring encounter. Bay of Plenty's next Hawke Cup Direct Challenge came on the 9/11 March 1991 at Queens Park, with no result produced because of inclement weather.
NZ Cricket Hawke Cup 2017
10-12 March 2017 Bay of Plenty (Holders) v Zone Four Winners - Southland
Bay of Plenty Team (Hawke Cup Direct Challenges appearances in brackets)
RPO Drysdale - Captain (11)
TJ MacRury (9)
BS Musgrave (6)
B Thompson (1)
BR Hampton (8)
SB Davey (8)
JJ Boult (5)
TJ Clarke (9)
SP Crossan (debut)
DM Deeble (3)
CM Atkinson (3)
TC Goodin (10)