Bays poised to jump up table

Monday, February 25, 2013

Vishi Jeet took his third five wicket bag for the season against Birkenhead

On another scorching Auckland afternoon it was hardly surprising to see batsmen dominate proceedings in the majority of the seven matches to be played on Saturday.

In all there were four centurions, and a further four players were dismissed within touching distance of a triple figure score. But with three sides scoring over 300 on day one, there was one sensational exception to the rule as Major Championship leaders Takapuna crashed for just 61 against close rivals ILG East Coast Bays.

Hedley Howarth Trophy - Two-Day Major Championship

Round Eight - Day One

Takapuna v ILG East Coast Bays - Onewa Domain

ILG East Coast Bays made a huge statement in their quest for a triple crown, securing first innings points on day one of their match with Major Championship leaders Takapuna at Onewa Domain before going on to place themselves in a fantastic position to push for an outright on day two.

After winning the T20 Championship, and reaching the final of the Jeff Crowe Cup which will be played next Sunday, Bays turned their attention to the longer format in which they were just 4.95 points off the pace.

Takapuna batted first and the tone for the day was set when Donovan Deeble dismissed Ryan Scivier with the very first delivery. Deeble went on to claim a further two wickets, while Chris Martin returned the outstanding figures of 5/12 from 6.3 overs and only two Taka batsmen made it to double figures as their team was bundled out for a paltry 61.

Bays response began in a similar fashion to their hosts with opener Craig Elliott going first ball, but Darren Dempsey showed his class, the former South Australia batsman scoring his first Premier century in Auckland and going on to finish the day unbeaten on 107.

After his call-up to the Aces Plunket Shield squad Bays skipper Brad Schmulian celebrated by adding 40 at the top of the order to take his seasonal tally to 660 runs, and his side finished the day in absolute command, their current total of 260/6 providing them with a formidable lead just one run shy of 200.

Takapuna 61 (C Martin 5/12, D Deeble 3/27) plays ILG East Coast Bays 260/6 (D Dempsey 107no, B Schmulian 40, G Johnson 3/56) after day one.

Parnell v The Fox Suburbs New Lynn - Shore Road

The battle between the second and fourth-placed Major Championship sides is evenly poised after day one, with hosts Parnell having nine wickets in the bank but needing a further 200 runs to defeat the Fox Suburbs New Lynn at Shore Road.

Defending champions Suburbs began the day in fourth position, but with a deficit of just over seven points they were well and truly in the title hunt. However, those title hopes took a severe jolt when Sachin Variath and Max Montgomery were dismissed within the first two overs of play.

Aces batsman Michael Barry and Suburbs skipper Victor Davies then set about rebuilding the innings with a 101-run partnership before Barry was dismissed for 47 from just 48 balls faced.

Davies was the next man to go for a superb 67, but the captain`s hard work looked as though it might be in vain as Michael Ravlic and James Walsh found form with the ball to reduce the visitors to 155/6.

At this stage English wicket keeper Tom Cullen was joined at the crease by Sean Solia and the pair shared a crucial 110-run seventh wicket stand to help regain the momentum for their side before the pendulum swung once again when Cullen was dismissed just nine runs short of his century. Suburbs lost their final four wickets for only seven runs, Solia the last man dismissed for 45.

After an injury hit season James Walsh looked to be back to his best for Parnell, returning figures of 6/70 from 22 overs, while Ravlic, who is one of only two bowlers to have claimed more than 50 wickets in Premier cricket this season, picked up 3/67 from 20.1.

When Parnell replied opener Ben Rae looked intent on putting a serious dent in the Suburbs total before the close of play, racing to 30 before Willie Brittain (22no) and Kirk Bunting (18no) shepherded their team through to stumps on 73/1.

The Fox Suburbs New Lynn 272 (T Cullen 91, V Davies 67, M Barry 47, S Solia 45, J Walsh 6/70, M Ravlic 3/67) plays Parnell 73/1 (B Rae 30) after day one.

New World Victoria Park Grafton United v Papatoetoe - Victoria Park

A return to the top of the order for Papatoetoe's Caleb Brookland proved to be an inspired move as the young opener amassed the day`s highest individual score of 146 as Papatoetoe racked up an eye-watering 375/8 on day one of their match with New World Victoria Park Grafton United at Victoria Park.

Brookland began the season as a regular at the top of the Papatoetoe innings but had moved down the order after Christmas until a promotion ahead of the match with Grafton. The move paid off as Brookland occupied the crease for almost 80 overs, sharing a mammoth 212-run third wicket partnership with Karan Anand (98) before eventually being dismissed for 146, an innings which included 18 boundaries.

After reaching 375/8 the visitors decided to declare, but they were unable to secure a breakthrough in the final eight overs of the day as the home side emerged unscathed on 23/0.

While Papatoetoe will begin day two as firm favourites, the hosts are by no means out of the game having scored 373/8 in the second innings of their previous encounter with Cornwall.

Papatoetoe 375/8 dec (C Brookland 146, K Anand 98, N Hattingh 33, D Watson 3/73) plays New World Victoria Park Grafton United 23/0 after day one.

Howick Pakuranga v Cornwall - Lloyd Elsmore Park

Cornwall have the runs on the board in their clash with Howick Pakuranga at Lloyd Elsmore Park as they continue their quest to avoid relegation.

Going into the match Cornwall faced a deficit of nearly ten points at the bottom of the ladder, and almost certainly require positive results from all of their remaining three games if they are to avoid the drop.

Avinash Sharma played the starring role, striking 16 fours on his way to a 120-ball century at the top of the order and getting Cornwall off to the perfect start. Skipper Sam Anderson maintained the momentum with a half century before Scott Mara chipped in with a useful 42 from the lower order before the visitors were eventually dismissed for 317, PJ Cairns claiming 4/60 in the home attack.

Howick had seven overs to see through before close of play and openers Darshan Patel and Andrew de Boorder came through this tricky period intact. And much will hinge on the form of de Boorder next week, the run machine having already scored a mammoth 1051 runs this season at an average of almost 60 with five centuries, two of which have come in his last two matches.

Cornwall 317 (A Sharma 100, S Anderson 60, S Mara 42, P Cairns 4/60, J Brown 3/107) plays Howick Pakuranga 26/0 after day one.

Tom Hellaby Trophy - Two-Day Minor Championship

Round Eight - Day One

Auckland University v HRV Birkenhead City - Colin Maiden Park

A late flurry of wickets instigated by Jason Hill has given HRV Birkenhead City the advantage in their match with Auckland University at Colin Maiden Park.

The balance of power in the game shifted regularly in a fascinating first day's play, beginning with the visitors getting off to a strong start by reaching 114/3 first up.

But the loss of four wickets for just two runs then put the home team in the driving seat, Varsity spinner Vishi Jeet sparking the collapse by taking the vital wickets of Tazz Satti, Phil Treanor, Darrin Crook and Allan Plant. He then went on to bag his third five wicket haul of the season and take his seasonal tally to 42 in the process.

Jeet's efforts helped dismiss the visitors for 184 and Varsity looked in control of the game when, after 14 overs of their reply, they stood on 39/0. However the course of the game was about to change once again with Birkenhead dominating the final 15 overs of the opening day.

Hill made the initial breakthrough, ousting University coach Barrington Rowland before Pavan Kaushik and Darrin Crook also got in on the act by dismissing Marc Ellison and Vishi Jeet respectively. Hill then gave Uni a mountain to climb as he returned to pick up two more wickets in the final over of the day and leave the hosts in trouble at 73/5.

Should Birkenhead secure first innings points they will take another huge step towards promotion as they currently lead the Minor Championship by 11 points, and with Varsity more than 16 off the pace a defeat would almost certainly end their chances. But still there at the close of play was Matt Ansell (29no), and with the opening batsman having scored four centuries in his last five matches a lot of hopes will be resting on his young shoulders when play resumes .

HRV Birkenhead City 184 (J Curtling 46, T Satti 44, A McCracken 35, V Jeet 5/53) plays Auckland University 73/5 (J Hill 3/23) after day one.

Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City v North Shore - Te Atatu Park

An unbeaten 143 from Blayne Fraser has given Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City the advantage in their match with North Shore at Te Atatu Park.

Shore began the game in second position on the ladder, but with an 11 point gap between themselves and leaders Birkenhead City they know that every point is crucial from now until the end of the season.

The visitors started the day well, reducing the hosts to 21/2 in the early stages, but then Waitakere`s star batting duo wrestled back the initiative. Aaron Jeavons joined Fraser at the crease and the pair proceeded to add 139 for the third wicket before Jeavons was dismissed for 89 shortly after becoming only the second batsman in Premier cricket to score over 1000 runs for the season.

When Jeavons departed Fraser continued on his way and, despite losing partners regularly at the other end, he was able to register his second consecutive century and lead his side to a total of 332/9 at the close of play.

Fraser, who has only just returned to full time Premier cricket after a four year absence, has now moved into the top ten of the run scoring charts and is one of only four players to have scored more than one century this season.

Next week Shore's batsmen will need to be at their best if they are to overturn the target and keep pace with Minor Championship leaders Birkenhead City who appear to have the upper hand in their match against Auckland University.

Barfoot & Thompson Waitakere City 332/9 (B Fraser 143no, A Jeavons 89, S Curtis 35, C Brungar 5/51) plays North Shore after day one.

Eden Roskill v Ellerslie - Keith Hay Park

A five wicket haul from Azhar Abbas laid the foundations for Eden Roskill to move to within four runs of gaining the first innings points against Ellerslie at Keith Hay Park.

The former Auckland seamer Abbas was on top of his game when Ellerslie batted first. In his 21 over stint Abbas returned the outstanding figures of 5/38 as the visitors crumbled to an all out score of 156 inside 56 overs.

Vishaal Kamath then spearheaded the run chase, striking 2 sixes and 15 fours before he was dismissed just two runs short of a deserved century. The opening batsman has made a big impression since debuting at the top of the order earlier this season - in just six innings he has scored over 230 runs at an average of almost 40.

By the time stumps were drawn Roskill stood imperiously on 153/1, and it appears only the weather can stop them from going on to secure first innings points for only the second time this season.

Ellerslie 156 (M Drake 43, M Jasarevic 35no, A Abbas 5/38) plays Eden Roskill 153/1 (V Kamath 98) after day one.

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