Jeff Crowe Cup – Preliminary semi-finals

Takapuna v Parnell

If you’d suggested two days ago that Parnell would emerge from Onewa Domain victorious, you’d likely have been met with polite scepticism.

That scepticism would have gotten less polite after 27 overs, when a 128-run second wicket stand between Guy Harley and Will O’Donnell threatened to blow the score out in the second half of the innings.

Parnell were light on bowling, which left their five bowlers all having to shoulder ten overs. Despite the big partnership, and although there were periods when Takapuna looked to be getting on top of the bowling, the Pirates couldn’t quite follow through. This meant Parnell weren’t forced to roll the dice with a part-timer.

In the last ten overs, Takapuna clearly wanted to climb into the Peaches bowling. Instead, they began to lose wickets. A ten-run over would finish with a W, and the next over was more moderate. Takapuna finished their 50 overs at 258/10.

That was still a total which would take some beating, particularly when Ben Rainger was caught behind off Ross ter Braak for two.

At 47/3 Parnell looked to be in trouble, with Ben Rae out for 20. Up stepped Ben Horne to kick some life back into the Parnell innings – and to run the legs off his batting partners.

He managed to get hold of the bowling in a way that Takapuna hadn’t quite been able to. Matt Jones was extremely economical, but Horne was consistently making runs off the other end.

The risk was that Horne would run out of partners. He brought up his century in the 41st over with Parnell six down. One over later and they were 223/8, still 36 runs shy of victory.

Nikith Perera knew his job – run hard, and don’t get out. Jones had just one more over to go, and Jordan Sussex had just gone for 13 off his seventh. Both batsmen negotiated Jones safely, happy with a single run.

In the end, Parnell did it in ones and twos. Horne finished the match 136 not out off 121 balls, and the Peaches made the semi-finals by two wickets.

Takapuna 258 (W O’Donnell 74, G Harley 64; H King 3-43, A Parikh 3-59) lost to Parnell 259/8 (B Horne 136*, O Pringle 28; M Jones 4-37) by two wickets.

Suburbs New Lynn vs Cornwall

If the result in the north was an upset, the biggest surprise about this match was just how badly suburbs put Cornwall to the sword.

Cornwall stated off in positive fashion, putting on 60 runs for the opening wicket in 10 overs. Luke and Sam Devereaux opened the bowling and at first Amit Dhadwal and Sam Anderson had no trouble making runs off them.

When Michael Barry dismissed Anderson for 28, the runs stopped flowing. Barry and Eli Meenhorst applied pressure, and the pressure turned into wickets. After that first knock, Cornwall attempted to build another partnership between Aditya Dhadwal and his brother. They made 50, but it was slow going, and cut short when Aditya became the first of Dane Watson’s three victims.

Amit Dhadwal stayed in to try and marshal the lower order, but the run-rate never recovered. Dhadwal made his century then tried to accelerate, and Sam Devereaux bowled him for 109. Three balls later, Cornwall’s innings was done, all out for 208 in the 48th over.

It wasn’t a huge total, and Cornwall had to hope their bowlers were on-song from the outset. Instead Suburbs carted them to all parts. Joe Cracknell batted like a man who had an urgent appointment (or perhaps like one who had been denied a century the day before). He hit 16 fours to bring up his ton in 22 overs and then got out, caught while presumably trying to send Evan Jones to the boundary again.

Barry came in at three and continued in the same way, at which point Raj Majithia probably thought he should hurry up and get his 50 before he ran out of runs to do it in.

Cornwall threw bowlers at the problem, using eight all up, with no great success. Majithia picked up 60 off 65, and Suburbs New Lynn won by seven wickets with 21 overs still to bat.

Cornwall 208 (Ad Dhadwal 109; D Watson 3-34, E Meenhorst 3-38) lost to Suburbs New Lynn 210/3 (J Cracknell 108, R Majithia 60*; L Rodrigues 2-44) by seven wickets.