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Honda Financial Premiership Long Report – 30 March

Hedley Howarth Championship

Championship Winners: Howick Pakuranga

Howick Pakuranga vs East Coast Bays

It was always likely that the Hedley Howarth Championship would finish with Howick Pakuranga picking up back-to-back titles, but what wasn’t scripted was quite how they would do it.

The early part of the day proceeded as was expected – Howick Pakuranga had East Coast Bays 26/3 by drinks – chasing 383, that was going to be hard for Bays to return from.

Then both teams slackened off. Quite suddenly, almost precipitously. A ripple went around Lloyd Elsmore Park – Cornwall had, surprisingly, taken first-innings points against Suburbs New Lynn. That meant the Alpacas had the championship, and Bays had no chance to avoid being relegated.

East Coast Bays picked themselves up better. Sebastian Langridge and Ryan Harrison batted through the second session, both making their half-centuries before tea. After Langridge brought up his 50, everyone decided that was about enough. Both captains shook on the draw, and pulled stumps on the summer.

Howick Pakuranga 383 (B Walsh 126, D Ferns 94; B Smith 5-70, L Delport 3-105) drew with East Coast Bays 135/4 (R Harrison 52, S Langridge 50*; D Grobbelaar 3-31).

Takapuna vs Papatoetoe

Takapuna had already taken a first-innings win when they came back out to bat at Onewa Domain. They wasted no time in getting their scoring back up and running, hitting the second over of the day for 14 runs. Mike Sclanders brought up his century shortly after Jordan Sussex was caught for 65.
Papatoetoe might have thought that two wickets in an over from Damanpreet Bhatti might slow the scoring rate a bit, but Sclanders kept hitting even as wickets fell around him.

When Matt Jones came out at number 10, he sent his first ball for four, and along with Sclanders, put together a 103-run last wicket stand. Sclanders hit 69 from 38 balls, including bringing up his double-century with his 18th four of the innings. Jones was eventually run out for 32, leaving Sclanders on 202 not out, and with Takapuna on 429 – a lead of 294.

Papatoetoe needed to do some serious hitting to even make Takapuna bat again, and they set about trying to do it. Josh Plummer unfortunately fell early, and subsequent batsmen were more measured in their approach. Prabyjot Rehal and Navi Deol put on 73, but when Deol was caught behind off Max O’Dowd for 38, it triggered a minor collapse. Papatoetoe went from 145/3 to 151/6 inside three overs. Luke Istead made a quick-fire 50 batting at eight. And it might have been some satisfaction when Sanjit Birla hit Sclanders for three consecutive sixes. Unfortunately, next over he became Jones’s third wicket, and Papatoetoe were all out for 239.

Papatoetoe 135 (D Bhatti 27, K Yadav 26; M Jones 5-52, R ter Braak 2-16) and 239 (P Rehal 68, L Istead 50*; M Jones 3-61) lost to Takapuna 429 (M Sclanders 202*, J Sussex 65; D Bhatti 3-72) by an innings and 55 runs.

Suburbs New Lynn vs Cornwall

As the only team with a mathematical chance of hauling in Howick Pakuranga, Suburbs needed a good win, and at 156/3, chasing Cornwall’s first-innings total of 226, they would have started the day feeling decently secure. That faith might have then been slightly dented when Sineth Gunawardene was out in the first over of the day, but they had plenty of batting down the order to make up for it. Only, they didn’t. Michael Barry was soon out for 48 to Shastryn Nair, and while Luke Devereaux and Dane Watson dug in, they weren’t able to last. Scott Marra had a fantastic morning, picking up four wickets.

Suburbs lost their last five wickets for just 17 runs, and must have been wondering what had just happened when they were eating lunch all out for 217.

Still, there were two sessions left, so they might as well make a game of it. Cornwall batted through the second session to set a total, with Fanie de Villiers smashing 6 sixes and 8 fours to bring up 71 not out off 23 balls.

Suburbs went out after tea to chase 217, and for the first hour were right in it. Barry picked up the 50 that he missed earlier in the day. But two wickets in the 19th over took the wind out of their sails, and both teams decided to finish there.

Cornwall 226 (Ad Dhadwal 69, M Guptill-Bunce 65; M Barry 3-29) and 208/5 dec. (F de Villiers 71*; S Devereaux 2-33) won first innings against Suburbs New Lynn 217 (M Barry 48, J Cracknell 31; S Marra 5-60, S Nair 3-42) and 142/5 (M Barry 58, S Gunawardane 44; E Jones 3-12).

Auckland University vs Parnell

There wasn’t a huge amount riding on the outcome of this match, as Parnell resumed their innings on 80/2. That probably would have been of some comfort to the Peaches, as the day started with three quick wickets.

Brad Rodden and Dean van Deventer then put on a 55-run stand, giving Parnell the upper hand when Rodden was dismissed by Jeet Patel for 38. Josh Fisher joined van Deventer, and the two propelled Parnell to lunch just short of University’s first-innings total.

After lunch van Deventer and Fisher continued, going past University, and van Deventer brought up his half-century. Fisher would fall just short, dismissed for 48 by Finn Allen, Parnell’s score 239/7.

They proceeded on for the next six overs, until Hetal Patel took the final three Parnell wickets in an over.

While there was still time to play, with little riding on the result, both captains agreed to finish there, and neither team came out for a second innings.

Auckland University 207 (F Allen 89, J Windler 49; O Pringle 4-19, K Russell 4-59) lost first innings against Parnell 262 (D van Deventer 78, J Fisher 48; H Patel 4-17, J Patel 3-97).

Tom Hellaby Championship

Championship Winners: North Shore

North Shore vs Waitakere

A slow first innings nearly cost North Shore everything as they faced off against Waitakere at Te Atatu Park. They resumed their innings at 53/3, and Graeme Beghin and Carl Brungar saw off the first hour, at which point the message that Eden Roskill had already bowled out Ellerslie would have made it through. Getting to 189 to pick up a first-innings win needed to be done as fast as possible without tripping themselves up.

Brungar and Beghin both reached their half-centuries before getting out, and Simon Keene opened his scoring with three boundaries.

North Shore made the runs they needed to pick up a first-innings win and immediately declared at lunch. Then Waitakere went out and, in a session, clocked up 192/4. They then declared ahead of the final session, looking for the upset and the chance to pick up enough points to get ahead of Ellerslie at the bottom of the ladder.

The flipside of that was, of course, that North Shore had the opportunity to take the title.

Stephen Baard wasn’t going to let a chance like that get away. Along with Graeme Beghin, the pair went after the total hammer and tongs.

They needed to. When Baard was caught off Tony Wannan for 90, North Shore needed 31 more runs and could not afford to slow down.

Beghin stepped up his scoring rate, and in the 32nd over, he sent the ball to the boundary for four runs, an eight-wicket win, and the Tom Hellaby Championship.

Waitakere 188 (B Cachopa 57, S Mirza 33; T Chitongo 4-47, C Brungar 3-45) and 192/4 dec. (S Mirza 77*; S Keene 1-14) lost to North Shore 189/7 dec. (C Brungar 55, G Beghin 51; W Henderson 3-27) and 194/2 (S Baard 90, G Beghin 83*; T Wannan, 2-56) by eight wickets.

Eden Roskill vs Ellerslie

Having Ellerslie already on the ropes at 71/4 in their second innings, Eden Roskill were not messing around. Zen Malik took four wickets to add to the one he picked up last week, and in 14 overs Ellerslie were all out for 113. Ellerslie led by 77 runs, and would have had no illusions that they were staring down the barrel of another loss.

Although Akshay Sreenivasan bowled Syed Mujtaba on the first ball of the innings, Eden Roskill weren’t going to fall over a small total. Barrington Rowland and Malik made it through much of the total, with Oyishik Chakraborty coming in for the final two overs, as Eden Roskill picked up an eight-wicket win with most of the day to spare.

Ellerslie 97 (A Burton 24; B Vora 5-24, B Rowland 1-2) and 113 (AE Edekar 44; Z Malik 5-30, B Rowland 2-16) lost to Eden Roskill 133 (Z Malik 67; M Wall 7-25) and 81/2 (Z Malik 34, B Rowland 31*; A Sreenivasan 2-20) by eight wickets.

Grafton vs Birkenhead

Birkenhead and Grafton came to have some fun, no matter what was going on with the results around them. Rather than resuming at 97/7, Birkenhead declared, still 84 runs behind Grafton’s first-innings total.

That gave Grafton a session to get some runs for Birkenhead to chase, which they cheerfully went about doing. However, Grafton did open with Carl de Beer, who typically bats much further down the order.

Sachin Variath made it to 49 before he was trapped LBW, and Alex Edwards reached 39. After 31 overs Grafton declared at 147/4, giving Birkenhead two sessions to get 232, and themselves to get 10 wickets.

Hamish Robertson had Birkenhead at 8/2 reasonably quickly. Arjuna Jayasinghe, Akash Christian, and Laurie Agnew put together a fightback, taking Birkenhead to 111 in the 31st over. Which was when Robinson struck – taking three wickets in the over. Birkenhead went to tea at 119/7.

A solid lower-order fightback meant Birkenhead made it past the 50th over and the final drinks session, before two quick wickets to Michael Snedden and one more to Robertson finished off Grafton’s season with a victory.

Grafton 181/9 dec. (N Bhana 44; A Christian 4-50, M Patel 2-18) and 147/4 dec. (S Variath 49, C Rajapaskha 2-39) defeated Birkenhead 97/7 dec. (A Jayasinghe 41; C de Beer 4-22) and 173 (A Christian 56; H Robertson 6-60, M Snedden 3-13) by 59 runs.

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