Howick Pakuranga have won the 2018/19 Premier Men’s T20 Championship after a decisive victory over Takapuna today.
At Eden Park Outer Oval, the Alpacas won the toss and elected to bat. Their innings started with a hiss and a roar, as opener Matt McEwan hit the first ball of the match for six.
McEwan put runs on at a rapid clip, amassing 56 off 36 before he was caught off the bowling of Jordan Sussex.
Opening partner Daniel Young also went well, turning the strike over effectively with McEwan and then with captain Andrew Morrison.
After McEwan departed, the two batsmen took Howick Pakuranga through a period of consolidation. They then accelerated to 147/2 in the 16th over. Then Matt Jones struck – Young caught for 37 off 32, and Morrison bowled for 45 off 30 two balls later.
Dale Phillips came out for a late cameo of 20 from 12, and Howick Pakuranga finished their 20 overs on 179/6.
The Takapuna chase didn’t start well. The Alpaca supporters were in full voice as Jamie Brown removed Guy Harley for seven in the second over. They became louder still when Danru Ferns picked up Max O’Dowd in a wicket maiden the next over.
Pirates saptain Will O’Donnell came to the crease when Harley was dismissed. With an average of over 100 for the competition thus far, Howick Pakuranga were eager to see him back in the sheds before he could get underway.
On six, O’Donnell skied a ball off Ferns which looked as though it would clear Brian Barnard at cover. Barnard took a fantastic diving catch, and Takapuna were at 20/3.
The Pirates were not about to give the game away, however. Hendrik van Vuuren hit Ferns for three fours in a row before he was dismissed for 21.
Later, Daniel James took Kieren Mackenzie for 18 runs off one over. Brown had him trapped LBW for 32 off 16. When Brown then dismissed Quinn Sunde two balls later, at 94/8 it looked as though Takapuna might not get much past the 100 mark.
Phil Bardenhorst and Jordan Sussex did at least get them into three figures, but when Matt Jones was run out for two, it was almost an anti-climax. Takapuna ended up all out for 112, Howick Pakuranga worthy victors by 67 runs.