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Parnell takes out Jeff Crowe Cup

Parnell have won the 2018/19 Jeff Crowe Cup after a mammoth batting effort against Suburbs New Lynn.

The Peaches won the toss and opted to bat at Eden Park Outer Oval under cloudless blue skies.

Ben Rae and Ben Rainger got the Peaches underway in a manner that would later seem extremely sedate. Once Rae found the boundary at the end of the third over, Parnell were off and running.

By the time drinks came around after an hour, Parnell were already at 99/1 and going at more than six an over.

Suburbs didn’t help themselves – their usually reliable bowlers seemed to have their radars thrown off-course either by the venue or the way Parnell took to them.

After drinks Dane Watson and Sam Devereaux put in a nine-over stint which looked like it might peg back the Parnell scoring, including Watson snaring Rainger caught and bowled.

That good work was undone when Ollie Pringle cut loose, hitting four 6s in three overs, and along with Andy Lane, kicked the Peaches back into high gear.

Parnell had already cleared 220 when Eli Meenhorst dismissed Pringle for 74 off 65. It didn’t cease the flow of runs, captain Brad Rodden stepping in and putting on 41 runs in five overs with Lane.

The final assault, when it arrived, came from an unexpected quarter. Aniket Parikh scorched 54 off 27, including three 6s, and Parnell finished their 50 overs with 362 runs.

It’s hard to imagine how Suburbs New Lynn felt over the innings break. On the one hand, they knew they had the firepower to chase the total. On the other, knowing you have to go at more than seven an over for the entire innings is a daunting prospect.

It was a challenge Joe Cracknell was entirely willing to embrace, however. Along with Raj Majithia, he raced out of the blocks, and Suburbs were going at 10 for the first six overs.

Cracknell even returned the favour to Parnell by slotting Pringle for three 4s and two 6s in an over.

It took a special piece of cricket to remove him. Ganesh Ratnasabapathy pulled off a stunning one-handed catch as Cracknell was sending another ball to the boundary. The ball before, Cracknell had brought up his 50 off 30 balls with a four.

With a new batsman in and Josh Fisher bowling well from the other end, Parnell was able to drag the run-rate down to where Suburbs was behind what they needed.

Michael Barry anchored the innings for Suburbs New Lynn. However, regular wickets weren’t helping Suburbs maintain the required momentum.

King took two more – including Majithia for 26. And Parikh, fresh from his batting exploits, came in to remove Suburbs captain Victor Davies for 12.

It was at this point Barry realised it was probably up to him. He brought up his 50 with Suburbs four down, and when Jonny Bassett-Graham came in to join him, the pair mounted an attack.

With Suburbs on the cusp of 200, Ratnasabapathy struck – Barry gone for 70. Watson followed the next ball.

Four more overs, and Parnell were Jeff Crowe Cup Champions – bowling out Suburbs for 211 in the 39th over for a 151-run win.

Parnell 362/5 (A Lane 84, O Pringle 74, A Parikh 54; E Meenhorst 2-51) defeated Suburbs New Lynn 211 (M Barry 70, J Cracknell 50; H King 4-35, G Ratnasabapathy 3-64) by 151 runs.

Full scorecard here.

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