PHOTO: John Davidson/BW MEDIA - Full gallery here https://bwmedia.photoshelter.com/gallery/Cricket-Gillette-Cup-Finals-5-December-2019/G000004MPc8I_Kg8/
Story by Hamish Wareham, at Wareham Sports Media
Last week Rhys Mariu captained his St Andrew’s College Team to their first Gillette Cup Title, winning four out of five games at the annual NZSS cricket tournament.
Victory capped off a good year for Rhys who was named in the New Zealand Under 19’s team for series against Australia and Bangladesh Under 19’s.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Mariu to find out about what the week was like on the inside as St Andrew’s won their first Gillette Cup on first arrival at the near thirty year tournament.
How had St Andrew’s been results-wise heading into the Gillette Cup?
“We were having our best season to date as we hadn't lost a match all term leading into the Gillette Cup Tournament.
What were your personal performance goals heading in to the tournament?
“I was hoping to score a few more runs than I did. No set amount but I wanted to contribute significantly each day, which I didn’t quite manage.
What did it mean to you to captain St Andrew’s College 1st XI, winning their maiden Gillette Cup in the process?
“It was something very special to me and something I wanted to do since year 9, so to just captain was very meaningful, and then to have the season we’ve had finishing with our first national title is definitely one of the most memorable moments and seasons.
Did the change in pitches have any effect on your team, and how did you readjust?
“Going from Lincoln to Hagley wasn’t too difficult as they’re quite similar. Being from Canterbury and having the luxury of having played on most of the grounds before definitely helped us continue to play our brand of cricket, so we didn’t have to change too much.
How did the team and you as captain manage to pick yourselves up from the Day Three slip up versus Lindisfarne?
“We were pretty gutted, however knowing that most teams had lost at least one game we knew we were still well in the running to win. So we just focused on improving from what we had done and going back to what we had done which worked well for us.”
What was the team talk prior to the Hamilton Boys’ High School game and at the end of the first innings?
“Before the game we were quite pleased that they (Hamilton Boys’) had sent us into bat. There was nothing different in our preparation leading up to it as we didn’t want to change what was a winning formula.
“So we just talked about getting a good start and not losing too many early wickets. In doing so it set us up to hit big in the last few overs to get a good total and then after the first innings having 280 on the board we knew if we bowled and fielded well then it would be a very tough chase.”
How is the team boding for next year - who is to watch coming through or hanging around?
“Six of us are leaving so there's still a good core of players remaining for next year. Especially Jordy Frew and Zak Foulkes who performed not only brilliantly throughout the tournament week but all season for St Andrew’s College and hopefully will continue to do so in the years to come.
Rhys Mariu performances throughout Gillette Cup:
Day One: 104 Runs And One Wicket vs Wellington College
Day Two: 39 vs Rosmini College
Day Three: 3 vs Lindisfarne College
Day Four: 19 vs Otago Boys High School
Day Five: 89 vs Hamilton Boys High School
Half Century: One
Strike Rate: 90.71
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