While play may have been limited on the opening day of the season, there was plenty of action across Auckland as the bowlers made the most of favourable overhead conditions. With shortened affairs in the Two-Day competitions, the sides batting second will look to force home their advantages next Saturday. Three sides had significant advantages in the Prichard Cup, but steady afternoon downpours meant points were shared across the board.
Hedley Howarth Trophy | Round One | Day One
Grafton 96/3 (D Taylor 31*) play Takapuna – Onewa Domain
Grafton will be pleased to have survived a tense start on their return to the Hedley Howarth, fighting back from 16/2 to 96/3 at lunch after Dan James and Ross ter Braak controlled the early exchanges. Rain then wiped out the rest of the day leaving Grafton skipper Hamish Robertson (29*) and Dylan Taylor (31*) with a session to bat on Day Two.
Auckland University 66/4 (D Bhatti 3-5) play Papatoetoe – Papatoetoe Recreation Ground
A patient University opening came unstuck when Daman Bhatti turned the first session in Papatoetoe’s favour. The introduction of Bhatti (3-5) saw University in tatters at 33/4 and the visitors have Christy O’Brien and Sam Veal to thank for not falling into a further hole. The pair began putting together a partnership but the covers came on before lunch and would not be removed.
Cornwall 63/6 (Ad Dhadwal 30*) play Suburbs New Lynn – Cornwall Park
It was all Suburbs at Cornwall Park. Bowlers Carl Brungar, Scott Johnstone (2-18) and Luke Devereaux (2-17) hit the ground running as Cornwall limped to 63/6 through the opening 23.3 overs. Aditya Dhadwal (30*) managed to steer clear of the carnage and will be hoping to help Cornwall to a competitive score on Day Two.
North Shore 118/4 (R Mudford 41*, M Olsen 33) play Parnell – Devonport Domain
North Shore found themselves in big trouble early on as Parnell’s new-ball duo Ganesh Ratnasabapathy and Josh Fisher both took wickets in their opening overs. A middle-order rally led by skipper Michael Olsen (33) kept the hosts moving, but the returning Henry King (2-37) struck in consecutive overs before drinks. Day Two will see Simon Keene and Riley Mudford (41*), who hit seven boundaries, resume their 63-run stand.
Tom Hellaby Trophy | Round One | Day One
Ellerslie 88/2 (A Alam 53*) play Howick Pakuranga – Lloyd Elsmore Park
Abrar Alam (53*) and Dinesh Kharel (22*) fought back after an impressive initial burst by young paceman Connah Thompson (2-23). Despite testing spells, Howick Pakuranga were unable to add to Thompson’s pair of early breakthroughs. Ellerslie will want Alam and Kharel to reset the platform with a big session of batting ahead.
East Coast Bays 89/3 play Birkenhead – Birkenhead War Memorial Park
Both East Coast Bays and Birkenhead will be happy with their Day One efforts. Mayur Masand struck early before a steadying partnership between Keiran Seedall and Tristan van Ingen-Kal. When 52/1 became 52/3, Birkenhead would have hoped for more, but Bays steadied again and put themselves in position to push on to a challenging total.
Waitakere 157/5 (B Nash 41*, B Barnard 40, T Treadaway 31, R Sandhu 3-52) play Eden Roskill – Keith Hay Park
The match with the most play is also finely balanced as Waitakere fought back after a disastrous start. Roskill’s new-ball pair Raja Sandhu (3-52) and Harjot Johal (2-29) struck in their opening overs and then regularly throughout the day to peg back Brian Barnard (40), Tony Treadaway (31) and Sachin Variath (27).
Rain washed away the majority of the middle session and when play resumed late in the day, Waitakere skipper Brad Nash (41*) patiently saw his side through to 157/5 at stumps.
Prichard Cup | Round One
Parnell 99/6 (J Barnett 3-18) vs. Takapuna – Hobsonville Domain
Takapuna were eventually rewarded for tidy spells with the new ball, ending several patient starts from the Parnell top four. HEARTS legspinner Jane Barnett kicked off her club season taking 3-18 before afternoon rain had the final say with Parnell at 99/6 in the 34th over.
Howick Pakuranga 99/7 (B Halliday 43, E Thurman 4-24) vs. Cornwall – Cornwall Park
Howick Pakuranga were in a similar position when rain halted play. Hard-hitters Brooke Halliday (43) and Skye Bowden (22) fared best for the visitors, who faced a trial by spin. Emily Thurman (4-24) and Fran Jonas (2-34) starred with the ball on the back of accurate bowling from Cornwall’s seamers.
Papatoetoe 113 vs. Auckland University 2/0 – Papatoetoe Recreation Ground
Papatoetoe skipper Regina Lilii top-scored with 34, but University were well on top when the rain arrived with Alex Eastwood and Prue Catton taking two wickets, while five other bowlers took one to keep Papatoetoe to 113. The rain came two overs into University’s chase and the players would not return.