Nelson Cricket coach Aldin Smith is taking the positives away from a challenging Chapple Cup campaign in Napier where the team lost two of its three games and finished fourth.
The team started with a 128-run win over Horowhenua Kapiti, but then were well beaten by Hawkes Bay when Nelson was rolled for just 36.
During that match they also lost captain Marty Kain, who did not play on Sunday after suffering from a lower back complaint.
Nelson did bounce back with a far more determined effort in the battle for third against Taranaki, eventually losing by three wickets with Taranaki chasing down the target of 203 off the second-to-last ball of the game.
Aldin was happy with the information he gained on his players given the short, disrupted preparation he and the team had.
“I’ve been in Nelson for four weeks so it was good to see the players out there in a match situation and learn their strengths and their weaknesses.”
The first two weeks of Nelson club cricket have been rained out and Aldin says the players needed the time in the middle.
He says he did not blame the players for the poor batting effort against Hawkes Bay.
“That bowling attack had all played first class cricket and I don’t know how many of our guys had been exposed to bowling of the pace of 135kph and 140kph. Only two of their guys made scores bigger than 10, so it was just one of those games on a tricky pitch.”
Aldin says he was proud of how the team played against Taranaki, particularly the patience and application shown with the bat.
“The key thing for me was to get information about who my players are, not only on the field but off the field.”