It comes down to this – the final weekend of club cricket in Auckland.
In the Hedley Howarth Championship, the two impressive final partnerships in Howick Pakuranga’s first innings against East Coast Bays has all but sealed their grip in the title. Bays, who are last in the competition by some distance, will have a fight on their hands to deny the Alpacas.
The Tom Hellaby Championship, on the other hand, is live to the final day of play. As it stands, Eden Roskill is five points ahead of North Shore, having managed to pick up first innings points against Ellerslie last week. North Shore, meanwhile, are still in their own first innings against Waitakere. There’ll be some nervous checking of the forecast from both teams – unsettled autumn weather could have a say in the results.
In the remaining Hedley Howarth matches, the only team that can theoretically haul in Howick Pakuranga is Suburbs New Lynn. They’re playing their first innings against Cornwall – and probably would have liked to get things moving faster last week.
Takapuna has already picked up first innings points by a long way against Papatoetoe, and the situation between Auckland University and Parnell is finely poised.
Finally, in the only Tom Hellaby match not to have a bearing on the title, Grafton is in the box seat against Birkenhead.
Hedley Howarth Championship
Howick Pakuranga 383 (B Walsh 126, D Ferns 94; B Smith 5-70, L Delport 3-105) is playing East Coast Bays.
Papatoetoe 135 (D Bhatti 27, K Yadav 26; M Jones 5-52, R ter Braak 2-16) lost first innings to Takapuna 232/2 (M Sclanders 93*, M O’Dowd 63; D Bhatti 1-26).
Cornwall 226 (Ad Dhadwal 69, M Guptill-Bunce 65; M Barry 3-29, S Devereaux 3-54) is playing Suburbs New Lynn 156/3 (M Barry 35*, J Cracknell 31; S Nair 1-26).
Auckland University 207 (F Allen 89, J Windler 49; O Pringle 4-19, K Russell 4-59) is playing Parnell 80/2 (F McGregor-Sumpter 31*, A Lane 30; C Jasmat 1-15).
Tom Hellaby Championship
Ellerslie 97 (A Burton 24; B Vora 5-24, B Rowland 1-2) and 71/4 (A Edekar 28*; B Rowland 2-16) lost first innings to Eden Roskill 133 (Z Malik 67, S Desai 21; M Wall 7-25, A Burton 2-32).
Grafton 181/9 dec. (N Bhana 44, S Variath 39; A Christian 4-50, M Patel 2-18) is playing Birkenhead 97/7 (A Jayasinghe 41, A Christian 15*; C de Beer 4-22, H Robertson 2-32).
Waitakere 188 (B Cachopa 57, S Mirza 33; T Chitongo 4-47, C Brungar 3-45) is playing North Shore 53/3 (G Beghin 28*; T Wannan 2-21).