HIBS Cricket back in business – Lachie Bailey on Bruce Murray Cup Win

Story courtesy of College Sport Media

Hutt International Boys’ School (HIBS) have regained the Bruce Murray Cup following a resounding 121-run victory over the Wellington College 2nd XI in the round one final of the Premier Youth cricket competition.

HIBS’ victory means they will represent Wellington at Nationals in December. HIBS won that National title in 2015 with future Black Cap Rachin Ravindra featuring prominently.

Achieving such lofty heights came at a cost. Rebuilding a strong roster has been a slow and frustrating process with HIBS at one point relegated to Premier Reserve.

Lachie Bailey is First XI captain. He believes a combination of experience, composure and balance has driven HIBS’ resurgence.

“We’ve got about eight or nine players who’ve played more than 50 matches for the First XI. A lot of us have been together since Year 9 and know we can play to a high level. It just took time to play our own way and better exploit opposition weakness,” Bailey said.

“I try to be a calm captain rather than a demanding one. I want the boys to be relaxed and enjoy their cricket. It doesn’t help if you panic all the time.”

Given all the wet weather last week, the fact the game got played on Sunday on a good grass pitch was a testimony to the hard work of the grounds person at HIBS – Peter Watt did a sterling job working on the pitch all Saturday to ensure the game could go ahead on Sunday.

HIBS won the toss and elected to bat first in the Bruce Murray Cup final. An early wicket might have triggered a collapse in 2021 but this HIBS team is made of sterner stuff. Batting at four Bailey made 58 and with Jack Gaskin contributing 61 and Harrison Wall 42, HIBS was eventually bowled out for 259 in the 50th over.

“It was a good pitch and we were happy with that score. Unfortunately, we didn’t start well with the ball but our head prefect Ben Wilson came on and took a wicket. He ended up with four. Soham Rawat got five and we won pretty comfortably in the end.”

HIBS was unbeaten throughout the whole competition but unusually right-arm quicks Bailey and Nathan Edmonds didn’t take a wicket in the final. They had combined for 32 wickets prior to the decider.

“Nathan bowls big inswingers aiming at the stumps and I bowl outswingers generally looking for the edge. We compliment each other but are very different. My best bowling was 5-17 in a big game against Wellington College First XI.”

Bailey represented Wellington at the National Under-19 tournament last year and has played indoor cricket at age group level for New Zealand.

He plays social futsal in the winter and hopes to study law at University in 2023.