Surprise results make for tight table

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ellerslie posted their second victory of the season over Birkenhead

Suburbs New Lynn suffered their first defeat of the season in the one-day competition when they were toppled by Auckland University on Saturday afternoon. And in a weekend of shock results the Jeff Crowe Cup holders, Takapuna, also crashed as the Premier cricket season burst back into dramatic action after the Christmas break.

Auckland University v The Fox Suburbs New Lynn - Colin Maiden Park

Last season The Fox Suburbs New Lynn only missed out on an historic treble when they lost the Jeff Crowe Cup Final to Takapuna at Colin Maiden Park. On Saturday afternoon they returned to the same ground to face Auckland University with a 100% record in the one-day competition during the 2012/13 season, but once again the Merton Road arena was to prove a jinx as the home side shocked the favourites.

Varsity batted first and were in trouble at 111/5 before a superb 76-run partnership in just 12 overs between Tom McLaughlin (49 from 48 balls) and Vedant Zaveri (48 from 46 balls) turned the game on its head. The pair managed to shift the momentum completely and with Vishi Jeet (23no) adding some useful lower order runs University grabbed the upper hand by posting 239/8.

The visitors fought back and looked well set as they reached 119/3 at the half way stage, but when Jeet took the wickets of Victor Davies (45), Tom Cullen (32) and Sean Solia in quick succession University took charge once more, and this time they would not relinquish the advantage.

Left arm spinner Jeet finished with 3/44 while leg spinner Zaveri chipped in with 2/41, but it was former Suburbs player coach Barrington Rowland who had the last word by claiming the final wicket of the match to seal victory for his University side.

The win cemented Varsity`s place in the top three of White Section and, despite the defeat, Suburbs retained their position at the top of the Blue Section and are still on course for another top campaign after advancing to the semi-finals of the T20 competition after defeating Takapuna last week.

Auckland University 239/8 (T McLaughlin 49, V Zaveri 48, M Ellison 30, J Nolen 3/50) defeated The Fox Suburbs New Lynn 195 (V Davies 45, T Cullen 32, V Harypursat 31, V Jeet 3/44) by 44 runs.

Takapuna v Parnell - Onewa Domain

In what could be considered an upset Parnell defeated national club champions and Jeff Crowe Cup holders Takapuna at Onewa Domain on Saturday afternoon.

Taka had previously lost just one match going into the contest, but for the visitors it was do or die with defeat likely to spell an end to their one-day campaign.

The home side batted first and were in early trouble when Michael Ravlic struck two quick blows. But from a shaky 33/3 and 49/4 Taka were able to mount a comeback thanks to Daniel Ter Braak (33) and Tony Manning (29) who helped their side reach eventual respectability on 169. Ravlic backed up his early wickets with two more scalps in the middle overs to finish with 4/36 and he now sits second on the premier cricket wicket taking charts with 34 victims, just three behind Aces seamer Donovan Grobbelaar.

Nigel Collins struck an early blow for Taka when Parnell began the run chase, dismissing dangerman Ben Rae, but a 109-run partnership for the second wicket between Tim McIntosh and Kirk Bunting (44) proved the key to the game.

After a successful week as captain of the Auckland `A` side McIntosh continued his strong batting form, striking a six and 11 fours in his innings of 69 from 84 balls, a knock that enabled Parnell to cruise to victory with six wickets and more than 12 overs in hand.

The defeat was the second in just four days for Takapuna as they also lost out to Suburbs New Lynn in the T20 quarter final on Wednesday night. However, despite the one-day loss, they still control their own destiny in the Jeff Crowe Cup knowing that victories in their remaining two matches would guarantee them at least a spot in the play-offs. The victory for Parnell puts them into a tie with Howick Pakuranga for third place on the Blue Section ladder.

Takapuna 169 (D Ter Braak 33, M Ravlic 4/36, J Nicol 3/28) lost to Parnell 170/4 (T McIntosh 69, K Bunting 44) by six wickets.

ILG East Coast Bays v Howick Pakuranga - Windsor Park

ILG East Coast Bays have taken the outright lead in the White Section after a comprehensive victory over Howick Pakuranga at Windsor Park.

The visitors had won three of their four one-day matches before the Christmas break, and they had the early advantage in this game when they reduced the hosts to 18/4 within the first six overs of play.

Bays had no fewer than five players returning from Auckland `A` duty but none of those could make a significant contribution with the bat and it was left to Matt Mimmack (73) and Visura Chinthaka (45) to rebuild the innings with a sixth wicket partnership worth 103.

Jamie Brown (4/46) and Murray Yeoman (3/42) led the way for Howick`s bowlers but after the Bays middle order recovery the match was left intriguingly placed at the break with the home side posting a total of 220/8.

As usual Howick`s reply was led by skipper Andrew De Boorder. The former Aces batsman became the first player to pass the 600 run mark for the season in Premier cricket, and he had moved to 30 before he fell victim to his opposite number Brad Schmulian.

From there Howick collapsed as six Bays bowlers picked up wickets with only one visiting batsman able to reach double figures after De Boorder had departed. It didn't take long for Howick to be bowled out with just 82 runs to their name as Bays sealed an emphatic victory.

The result means Bays now control their own destiny in the White Section. If they win their final two games they will qualify automatically for the semi-finals. The victory also completed a fine week for the team after they qualified for the T20 semi-finals on Wednesday night by defeating Eden Roskill, this despite the five Auckland `A` representatives arriving back from Canterbury just minutes before the start of play.

ILG East Coast Bays 220/8 (M Mimmack 73, V Chinthaka 45, J Brown 4/46, M Yeoman 3/42) defeated Howick Pakuranga 82 (A De Boorder 30, R Bezuidenhout 3/22).

North Shore v New World Victoria Park Grafton United - Devonport Domain

New World Victoria Park Grafton United moved into a tie for top spot in the Blue Section after a nail biting victory over North Shore at Devonport Domain.

The visitors batted first and were off to a flyer thanks to Guy Coleman who struck 71 at the top of the order. Shore hit back in the middle period thanks to Auckland `A` seamer Michael Stevenson (3/39), but a quick fire half century from Sri Rajasekar ensured his side would post a substantial total of 244/9

After striking the first ball of the reply for a boundary Shore opener Mark Tulloch was dismissed with the very next delivery by Joe Dawborn. Dawborn also accounted for Tulloch`s opening partner Gene Andrews as Grafton looked to have grabbed the initiative.

Home skipper Josh Tasman-Jones helped to resurrect the innings and he got support from several middle order players as the home side chipped away at the target.

With Shore reaching 215/7 in the 46th over the game was on a knife edge but Grafton skipper Dusan Hakaraia then struck a telling blow when running out his opposite number for 80. Shore`s tail still wagged furiously as Stevenson struck 18 at almost a run a ball, but in the end it was the visitors who held their nerve to secure a five run success.

The result means Grafton join Suburbs New Lynn at the top of the Blue Section table with two games to play. The loss for Shore sees them sitting outside of the play-off positions in the White Section and unable to afford another loss if they are to advance in the competition.

New World Victoria Park Grafton United 244/9 (G Coleman 71, S Rajasekar 53, M Stevenson 3/39) defeated North Shore 239 (J Tasman-Jones 80) by five runs.

Cornwall v Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City - Cornwall Park

Cornwall kept their one-day season alive with a convincing victory over Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City at Cornwall Park.

The home side racked up 269/8 batting first, the highest score by any side on the day as English county star Rob Newton led the way with 80 from just 85 balls at the top of the order.

Avinash Sharma (37), his brother Rajiv Sharma (35), Michael Guptill-Bunce (26) and Brad Chemaly (24) also scored their runs at a fast pace with only two of the visiting bowlers able to concede their runs at less than five an over.

When Waitakere replied PJ Thomas struck two early blows before Rajiv Sharma got in on the act as the visitors slid to 40/4. Opener Aditya Dhadwal tried to hold the innings together with 39, but the home side's bowlers proved to be too strong with Scott Marra taking four wickets to help dismiss the visitors for 146.

After surprisingly suffering three defeats before Christmas the weekend`s success leaves Cornwall just three points outside of the top three in the White Section, which is exactly the position Waitakere now find themselves in. Both sides need to win their remaining two matches and hope that other results go in their favour if they are to progress.

Cornwall 269/8 (R Newton 80, A Sharma 37, R Sharma 35, D Schischka 3/52) defeated Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City 146 (Ad Dhadwal 39, S Chick 33, S Marra 4/55) by 123 runs.

HRV Birkenhead City v Ellerslie - Birkenhead War Memorial

For the second time in the space of four days Ellerslie defeated HRV Birkenhead City, effectively eliminating them from a competition.

On Wednesday night Ellerslie defeated Birkenhead to knock them out of the T20 tournament, and a 47 run victory on Saturday afternoon in the Jeff Crowe Cup almost certainly ended any hopes that Birkenhead had of qualifying for the final stages.

Ellerslie overcame the loss of a wicket in the first over to get off to a solid start, Keiran Pearce (33) laying the foundations at the top of the innings before Neil Bisman struck 7 fours and a six in the middle order before falling one run short of a half century.

No fewer than six of the first seven visiting batsmen reached double figures and they were aided by the home attack who conceded 35 extras, but four wickets for Jason Hill helped restrict Ellerslie and they were bowled out for 189 in the 47th over.

In reply the home side were blown away by a phenomenal spell from seamer Matt Newman. Newman accounted for five of the top seven batsmen as Birkenhead stumbled to 55/6, and even an unbeaten half century from Paul Muchall was not enough to bring them back into the game as Newman finished with the outstanding figures of 6/39 from 10 overs which saw the home side crumble to an all out 141 inside 32 overs.

The result means Ellerslie are just three points out of the qualification places in the Blue Section, although in a tight division they will need to win both of their remaining matches and hope several sides slip up if they are to advance to the latter stages.

Ellerslie 198 (N Bisman 49, K Pearce 33, J Hill 4/39) defeated HRV Birkenhead City 141 (P Muchall 52no, M Newman 6/39) by 57 runs.

Eden Roskill v Papatoetoe - Keith Hay Park

A fine all-round performance from former Blackcap Chris Harris proved to be the difference in the match between Eden Roskill and Papatoetoe at Keith Hay Park.

Roskill batted first and were going along nicely with Sean Cotter (48) and Vishai Kamath (42) at the crease - then Harris came into the attack. The veteran medium pacer bowled a miserly spell of 8.4 overs, taking 3/20 which helped spark a Roskill collapse from 144/4 to 187 all out.

When Papatoetoe replied Roskill once again grabbed the early advantage as Raja Sandhu (3/35) helped reduce the visitors to 35/3. However Harris once again stepped up to the plate, sharing a 71-run fourth wicket partnership with Stuart Money (40) before guiding his side to victory by four wickets with an unbeaten 70.

The result keeps Papatoetoe within three points of the qualification places, but with only six points separating all seven sides in the Blue Section both of the remaining group matches are must-win encounters for Harris` side. Roskill remain as the only side without a one-day victory to their name and the latest defeat has eliminated them from play-off contention.

Eden Roskill 187 (S Cotter 48, V Kamath 42, C Harris 3/20) lost to Papatoetoe 189/6 (C Harris 70no, Stu Money 40, R Sandhu 3/35) by four wickets.

Jeff Crowe Cup standings after five rounds:

White Section
ILG East Coast Bays                                   12
Takapuna                                                    9
Auckland University                                     9
North Shore                                                 6
Cornwall                                                      6
HRV Birkenhead City                                    3
Eden Roskill                                                 0

Blue Section
The Fox Suburbs New Lynn                       12
New World Victoria Park Grafton United    12
Howick Pakuranga                                      9
Parnell                                                        9
Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City            6
Ellerslie                                                       6
Papatoetoe                                                  6

Jeff Crowe Cup Round Six Fixtures - Saturday 19th January
Howick Pakuranga v Takapuna - Lloyd Elsmore Park
The Fox Suburbs New Lynn v ILG East Coast Bays - Ken Maunder Park
Ellerslie v Auckland University - Michaels Ave
Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City v HRV Birkenhead City - Te Atatu Park
New World Victoria Park Grafton United v Cornwall - Victoria Park
Papatoetoe v North Shore - Papatoetoe Recreation Ground
Parnell v Eden Roskill - Shore Road

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