It was a tale of two pools in Round Five of the T20 Championship. All four victors in the NorthWest pool set winning totals, while in the CentralEast pool it was the chasing teams that took the points.
T20 Championship | NorthWest Pool | Round Five
Takapuna 134/8 (BJ Jacobs 38) defeated North Shore 99 (M Jones 4-18) by 35 runs.
Bevon-John Jacobs (38) and Ben Beecroft (29) helped Takapuna kick 2021 off on the front foot against North Shore at Devonport Domain. The pair put on 61 for the first wicket before the hosts hit back with the ball, notably through Zac Watson and Tim Duncraft.
Chasing Takapuna’s 134/8, Shore suffered two setbacks as Matt Jones and Danru Ferns nabbed both openers inside the opening three overs. Graeme Beghin (28) and skipper Mike Olsen attempted a rebuild before Jones (4-18) turned the match in Takapuna’s favour with all out for 99 in the 20th over.
East Coast Bays 148/3 (T van Ingen-Kal 60, R Schierhout 50) defeated Hibiscus Coast 130/8 (D Kumarasinghe 43) by 18 runs.
Half-centuries by openers Tristan van Ingen-Kal (60) and Ryan Schierhout (50) set up a comfortable victory over Hibiscus Coast at Windsor Park. East Coast Bays’ total of 148/3 was largely built on the back of an opening stand of 95 between van Ingen-Kal and Schierhout but Hibiscus Coast fought back at the death to keep the target within reach.
A pair of run-outs inside the first nine overs spelt trouble for Hibiscus Coast. Though some lusty blows by Dudinda Kumarasinghe (43) gave the chase some respectability, Hibiscus Coast were always behind the asking rate as Isaac Bird and Ryan Harrison picked up two wickets each.
Waitakere 157/7 (B Barnard 80, A Jayampathi 3-30) defeated Birkenhead 144/6 (A Christian 63, J Houghton 36) by 13 runs.
Birkenhead’s semi-final hopes were dented by a tight defeat at the hands of Waitakere at Birkenhead War Memorial. Batting first, Brian Barnard gave Waitakere an electric start, scoring 80 out of his side’s first 99 runs. Barnard’s knock lasted 40 balls, including 13 fours and 2 sixes as the visitors posted 157/7, despite Anuradha Jayampathi picking up three wickets.
Akash Christian (63) and Jeremy Houghton (36) fought back from 9/2 to give Birkenhead a chance of picking up a fourth T20 Championship victory, but the innings fell away when Christian was caught in the 18th over. Waitakere then closed out the innings to seal a 13-run win.
Suburbs New Lynn 185/7 (M Guptill 101, T Nethula 4-21) defeated Kumeu 78 (A Ashok 4-10) by 107 runs.
Batting first against Kumeu, Suburbs New Lynn posted the highest total of the day, thanks largely to a century by Martin Guptill. Back at Ken Maunder Park, Guptill despatched the visiting bowlers finishing with 101 off 57 balls, including 7 fours and 6 sixes. Tarun Nethula helped pull Suburbs back from a more daunting total with four wickets at the death.
Carl Brungar then knocked the top off the Kumeu order with two wickets inside the first four overs, before spinners Adithya Ashok (4-10) and Dane Watson (2-18) piled the pressure on the middle order. In the end, Kumeu were dismissed for 78 in the 18th over. Both sides remain in the hunt for a semi-final spot with two rounds remaining.
T20 Championship | CentralEast Pool | Round Five
Cornwall 120/7 (W Somerville 3-11) lost to Parnell 124/4 (B Rae 51*, B Horne 48) by six wickets.
Cornwall flew out of the blocks before being pegged back by a strong Parnell attack at Shore Road. Cameos by Amit Dhadwal (28), Josh Mackinnon (23), Glen Stanton-Cook (22) and Ben Megson (22) fought through the Peaches’ spin-heavy attack, led by Will Somerville (3-11), to post 120/7.
In reply, Ben Rae (51*) and Ben Horne (48) wiped away the majority of the chase, adding 78 in good time for the second wicket. Matthew Gibson (2-15) did his best to get Cornwall back into the match, but Rae remained at the crease until the job was done in the 19th over.
Eden Roskill 50 (N Fletcher 3-12) lost to Grafton 54/3 (N Fletcher 32*) by seven wickets.
Nathan Fletcher starred in Grafton’s seven-wicket win over Eden Roskill at Victoria Park. Jack Dymond bowled both Eden Roskill openers in the first over and Grafton never looked back. Fletcher (3-12) ripped out the middle order as Eden Roskill were rolled for 50.
Chasing 51, the visitors did their best to apply some pressure, taking three wickets, but Fletcher added an unbeaten 32 to his earlier spell as Grafton crossed the line in the 13th over.
Papatoetoe 157/8 (Stephen Money 41) lost to Auckland University 158/4 (J Low 71*, A Vodnala 32) by six wickets.
Papatoetoe and Auckland University played out the match of the round at Papatoetoe Recreation Ground. The hosts were in early trouble losing two wickets inside the first two overs. Stephen Money (41), Arnie Yugaraja (26) and Stuart Money (26) all helped Papatoetoe out of trouble and to post 157/8.
Aakash Prasad and Ash Vodnala set University’s chase in motion but it was Jonathan Low who played the starring role, hitting an unbeaten 71 off 40 balls. Low was largely responsible for stacking several big overs together, hitting 7 fours and 2 sixes, to help University to a six-wicket win with five balls to spare.
Ellerslie 72/8 (C Thompson 4-18) lost to Howick Pakuranga 76/0 (G Phillips 55*)
Howick Pakuranga were in a hurry against Ellerslie at Michaels Avenue, wiping away the hosts in double-quick time. Connah Thompson (4-18) decimated Ellerslie’s top order, taking three wickets inside the powerplay. From there, Ellerslie limped to 72/8 from their 20 overs.
Glenn Phillips wasted little time in showing his class, blasting 55 off 20 balls. The BLACKCAPS batsman hit 2 fours and 7 sixes to ease Howick Pakuranga to a ten-wicket win that keeps the Alpacas in the playoff picture.