It was hot and humid around Auckland for the Christmas double-header round of T20 action. With dry pitches around the grounds, runs were at a premium as four clubs hosted four games in the last club action for 2018.
North Shore vs. Birkenhead – Devonport Domain
North Shore won the toss and elected to bat. Birkenhead skipper Tony Treadaway got his side off to the best possible start taking a wicket off the very first ball. Ronnie Hira ensured the early loss wouldn’t hamper North Shore’s progress getting the home side through to 45/1 at the end of the powerplay. Offspinner Akash Christian squeezed a stumbling middle order before Michael Olsen and Sam Hinds dragged North Shore to 137/7.
Matt Strain and Carl Brungar were on song with the ball and Birkenhead’s innings never truly got off the ground. At 36/3 after ten overs, Birkenhead were well behind the required run-rate. Wickets continued to fall and Guz McKenzie was the man to mop up the tail. Birkenhead were eventually bowled out for 77, with a highest score of 17.
North Shore 137/7 (R. Hira 38, M. Olsen 32) defeated Birkenhead 77 (G. McKenzie 3-8, Hira 3-11) by 60 runs.
Waitakere vs. Hibiscus Coast – Devonport Domain
In a stunning upset, Hibiscus Coast won the toss and chose to bowl first. Waitakere struggled to get a run-rate going. While the top order conserved wickets, the run-rate barely went above six an over. Nathan Fletcher held the innings together falling one shy of fifty. Jared Challis and Travis Ngatai attempted to make up for lost time, but neither had prolonged stays at the crease. Waitakere finished on 133/6.
It would take some getting on a slow track in Devonport. Sam Lucas took Todd Wannan for 14 off the first over and Hibiscus Coast never looked back. Ramesh Lakmal continued his great form leading his side to 71/0 after ten overs. When Lucas was dismissed, Lakmal went past fifty and made short work of the remainder of the chase. Hibiscus Coast cruised home with more than four overs to spare registering their first Premier win in the T20 competition.
Waitakere 133/6 (N. Fletcher 49) lost to Hibiscus Coast 137/1 (R. Lakmal 71*, S. Lucas 44) by nine wickets.
Suburbs New Lynn vs. East Coast Bays – Ken Maunder Park
In another low-scoring affair, East Coast Bays won the toss and elected to bat first. It took nine balls for Suburbs to get on the board courtesy of a Sam Devereaux run out. Tristan van Ingen-Kal and Ryan Harrison then put on 37 for the second wicket. It would end up being East Coast Bays’ best partnership in an innings that included three golden ducks. Though Victor Davies and Mitchell Murray were the pick of the bowlers, the entire Suburbs’ attack put in a shift to bowl East Coast Bays out for 91.
The reply wasn’t without drama for Suburbs. Wickets fell in the first and third overs as Ryan Harrison threatened to blow away the Suburbs’ top order. Joe Cracknell and James Parslow patiently manoeuvred their way through the next ten overs. It was the partnership Suburbs needed. When Cracknell was caught behind, East Coast Bays had an opening. They went through it taking 4-17, but it was too late. Suburbs snuck home with four balls and three wickets to spare.
East Coast Bays 91 (V. Davies 3-14) lost to Suburbs New Lynn 92/7 (J. Cracknell 34, J. Parslow 31) by three wickets.
Takapuna vs. Kumeu – Ken Maunder Park
Takapuna survived a major scare to maintain their unbeaten record. Kumeu won the toss and chose to bowl first. Max O’Dowd and Rob Sehmi were the main runscorers for Takapuna, however neither went on to make a match-winning score. Junaid Nadir picked up four wickets at the death to stifle any chance of a big finish.
With 125 to chase, Kumeu’s start couldn’t have been much worse; two down in third over, three down in the fifth and 39/4 after ten. Nadir showed his all-round ability to give Kumeu a late chance at a huge scalp. O’Dowd added three wickets to his contribution with the bat, but Nadir was unbeaten on fifty entering the final over. With ten runs required, Matt Jones came up trumps bowling both Nadir and number eleven Mehran Khan to keep the Pirates in pole position for a semi-final berth.
Takapuna 124/8 (M. O’Dowd 31, J. Nadir 4-22) defeated Kumeu 118 (Nadir 54, M. Jones 3-11, O’Dowd 3-15) by 6 runs.
Kumeu vs. East Coast Bays – Ken Maunder Park
East Coast Bays won the toss and elected to bat. With Tarun Nethula in the side and two wickets inside the powerplay, Kumeu suggested they were up for another strong outing. East Coast Bays struggled to get going on another slow wicket. Ryan Harrison offered the only real resistance scoring a patient fifty. He was out in the final over and was at the other end to witness all five of Nethula’s wickets.
In restricting East Coast Bays to 106/9, Kumeu had done a grand job. It was only half a job, however, and the chase would not be easy. East Coast Bay’s bowlers made quick work of the Kumeu top order taking seven wickets in the first eight overs. There was no coming back from there and Kumeu were eventually bowled out for 65.
East Coast Bays 106/9 (R. Harrison 54, T. Nethula 5-10) defeated Kumeu 62 (A. Morrison 3-12) by 44 runs.
Suburbs New Lynn vs. Takapuna – Ken Maunder Park
In the high-stakes clash of the afternoon round, Takapuna batted first and were circumspect to begin with – Will O’Donnell the mainstay in an otherwise unflattering inning. Suburbs’ array of bowlers changed their pace throughout resulting in several of Takapuna’s batsmen being caught in the outfield. Takapuna were bowled out for 102.
It didn’t look enough when Michael Barry swept two boundaries from the second over. Daniel James then bowled both Barry and Victor Davies with the assistance of thick inside edges. Takapuna’s trio of spinners came into the game and, despite so few runs to defend, built pressure on the new batsmen.
Needing less than a run-a-ball, Suburbs still had the batting depth and the required run-rate was manageable. Will O’Donnell lead from the front, not only affecting identical direct-hit run-outs of James Parslow and Mitchell Murray, but also grabbing three wickets in another all-round performance. Suburbs’ tail couldn’t wag in front of a considerable home ground leaving their semi-final hopes in the balance.
Takapuna 102 defeated Suburbs New Lynn 85 by 17 runs. (scores to be confirmed)
North Shore vs. Waitakere – Devonport Domain
When Waitakere won the toss and batted first, two early run-outs wouldn’t have been part of the plan. Nathan Fletcher continued his good form in the T20 competition once again holding the innings together. This time he went past fifty, but he too was run-out before making that match-defining inning. Waitakere’s heavy hitters couldn’t get going and a total of 124/6 was all that could be conjured.
North Shore made tough work of the chase. Michael Olsen hit 3 fours and 3 sixes scoring a fluent half-century. The skipper found able support in Ryan Thomson, but couldn’t see the ship home. Waitakere’s bowled valiantly ensuring the game would see the final over. After a wicket and two dots, Tendai Chitongo hit a boundary to make it two from two for the home side.
Waitakere 124/6 (N. Fletcher 52) lost to North Shore 127/6 (M. Olsen 53) by four wickets.
Birkenhead vs. Hibiscus Coast – Devonport Domain
Birkenhead won the toss and elected to bat first. Fresh off a resounding morning victory, Hibiscus Coast went searching for another. Zylen Thomas took no prisoners – just wickets – as he had three beside his name by the end of the fifth over. At the other end, Sam Lucas went back-to-back and Birkenhead were in the mire at 46/5 to end the powerplay. Hibiscus Coast wouldn’t take another. Laurie Agnew and Jeremy Houghton put an unbeaten 102 for the sixth wicket.
Hibiscus Coast’s earlier chase had been clinical. This one, however, was not. Regular wickets kept the pressure on Hibiscus Coast and it wasn’t until Alister Sail got going that Hibiscus Coast looked likely of overhauling the total. When he was dismissed in the 15thover, Mayur Masand and James Beuvink pounced to avoid any late fireworks.
Birkenhead 148/5 (L. Agnew 61, J. Houghton 34, Z. Thomas 3-30) defeated Hibiscus Coast 115 (A. Sail 41, J. Beuvink 3-14, M. Masand 3-19) by 33 runs.
Grafton vs. Howick Pakuranga – Colin Maiden Park
Grafton won the toss and chose to bat first. While Donovan Grobbelaar and Danru Ferns both struck inside the powerplay, Grafton made a reasonable run-a-ball start. Dylan Taylor and Michael Ruffell rebuilt the innings before Parth Patel accelerated at the death hitting sixes in each of the last three overs. Ferns came back to grab a late second as Grafton wound up on 140/5.
It wasn’t plain sailing for Howick Pakuranga in the chase. Carl de Beer continued his form from the National Under 19 tournament claiming the big wicket of Brian Barnard. Though Grafton picked up regular wickets, there is great depth to the Howick Pakuranga batting line-up. Opener Daniel Young hit 4 fours and 2 sixes as he held the innings together, but when he was stumped there was still work to do.
Grobbelaar and Dale Phillips both played free-flowing cameos to get Howick Pakuranga within touching distance. Two boundaries later and last year’s finalists had their fourth win in as many matches.
Grafton 140/5 (D. Taylor 34, P. Patel 34*) lost to Howick Pakuranga 143/6 (D. Young 46, D. Grobbelaar 35, D. Phillips 31) by four wickets.
Auckland University vs. Eden Roskill – Colin Maiden Park
University won the toss and bowled first. Eden Roskill were in immediate trouble when Nick Stobart struck in his first over. It didn’t get much easier for the visitors as a run-out and an early second from Stobart reduced Eden Roskill to 8/3 at the end of the fourth over.
Raja Sandhu rebuilt the innings with some bold aerial strokeplay. Bhavik Vora boosted Eden Roskill’s total to 122 with a pair of legside sixes in the final over. A slow over rate would add six more and adjusted University’s target to 129.
Sandhu was never far from the action having a hand in three of the four wickets in the powerplay. Jimmy Ellis and Charlie Lowen patiently lead a University fightback, however the boundaries dried up and the required run-rate quickly blew out. University left too much work to the tail and Eden Roskill were comfortable victors.
Eden Roskill 128 (R. Sandhu 44, N. Stobart 3-16, V. Anand 3-30) defeated Auckland University 108 (J. Ellis 31, Sandhu 4-30) by 20 runs.
Cornwall vs. Papatoetoe – Cornwall Park
Cornwall won the toss, batted first and promptly compiled the highest score of the day. Amit Dhadwal and Michael Guptill-Bunce set about building a platform for a big total. Guptill-Bunce scored freely to post a rare half-century on a day dominated by bowlers. The Papatoetoe bowlers – namely Daman Bhatti – would have their say late in the innings with Cornwall posting 163/8.
Papatoetoe were under constant pressure. Teja Nidamanuru was a big part of lifting the required run-rate conceding only eight runs from his four overs. Disciplined bowling throughout strangled the middle-order as Papatoetoe were eventually restricted to 91/7 from 20 overs.
Cornwall 163/8 (M. Guptill-Bunce 62, Am. Dhadwal 32, D, Bhatti 3-29) defeated Papatoetoe 91/7 by 72 runs.
Ellerslie vs. Parnell – Cornwall Park
Parnell won the toss and elected to bowl first. It was the perfect start for Parnell taking a remarkable five wickets in the powerplay. Few games are won from 17/5 and this wasn’t to be one of them for Ellerslie. Alan Burton had no choice but to take his time. Josh Fisher mopped up the tail taking three wickets in the 19thover.
81 was never going to be enough. Parnell quickly raced out of the blocks. Aniket Parikh hit 5 fours in a dashing innings to lead Parnell to victory and an extended lunch break.
Ellerslie 81 (A. Burton 31, J. Fisher 4-18) lost to Parnell 83/3 (A. Parikh 31) by seven wickets.
Papatoetoe vs. Parnell – Cornwall Park
Papatoetoe’s day didn’t get much easier as Parnell won the toss and put them in to bat. Navdeep Aujla started brightly pushing Papatoetoe out to a reasonable start – 40/1. A series of run-outs decimated the middle order to suck all of Papatoetoe’s momentum out of the innings. Ollie Pringle, Josh Fisher and Aniket Parikh all picked up two wickets apiece in another discipline Peaches’ performance.
Parnell made quick work of the chase. This time Andy Lane was the main man clubbing 5 fours and 4 sixes in a dominant half-century. Crossing the line with the best part of seven overs remaining, Parnell again boosted their all-important net run-rate.
Papatoetoe 99 lost to Parnell 100/2 (A. Lane 51) by eight wickets.
Cornwall vs. Ellerslie – Cornwall Park
Cornwall won the toss and again decided that runs on the board was the way to go. The Dhadwal brothers lead the home side hitting all but one of Cornwall’s boundaries. Ellerslie kept their hopes of a first win in tact by collecting regular wickets throughout. Ad. Dhadwal was run out in the last over having hit 5 fours and a six. On a tiring wicket, both sides will have been happy with Cornwall’s total of 140/7.
Ellerslie couldn’t have asked for a better start racing out past fifty in the seventh over. Cornwall then made their way back into the match. There were no boundaries for eight overs resulting in a drastic slowing down of scoring. When Matt Wall was caught – the third Ellerslie wicket – Cornwall had an opening. A steady stream of wickets followed with Teja Nidamanuru shutting the match down with tight 18thand 20thovers.
Cornwall 140/7 (Am. Dhadwal 31, Ad. Dhadwal 40) defeated Ellerslie 126/8 (M. Wall 44, T. Nidamanuru 4-26) by 14 runs.
Eden Roskill vs. Howick Pakuranga – Colin Maiden Park
Eden Roskill won the toss and chose to bat first. A reasonable start was stifled by middle order wobbles. Like many other of the day’s matches, there were several contributions. What Eden Roskill needed was someone to bat through and hold the innings together. It never came. Adam Jones tied down the middle order before Danru Ferns picked up two at the death. Eden Roskill have two Harjot Johal’s sixes to thank for the 128/7 they eventually finished with.
Again, Daniel Young provided Howick Pakuranga with stability with the top. This time, though, Brian Barnard was at his aggressive best and the pair put on fifty inside seven overs. Needing 31 from nine overs – with eight wickets in hand – there shouldn’t have been much left in the match. Raja Sandhu sparked a collapse and Eden Roskill grew into the game. Dale Phillips held firm and, despite being seven down, guided Howick Pakuranga to the brink of the semi-finals.
Eden Roskill 128/7 (H. Johal 30*, D. Ferns 3-39) lost to Howick Pakuranga 129/7 (B. Barnard 59, D. Young 30, R. Sandhu 3-23) by three wickets.
Auckland University vs. Grafton – Colin Maiden Park
University won the toss and elected to bat. Skipper Charles Lowen was in early and took it upon himself to right the struggles from University’s earlier match. While he had adequate support from his top order, Lowen’s 71 – the highest individual score of the day – dominated the scorecard. Nikheil Bhana was the pick of the bowlers for Grafton ensuring University couldn’t go at both ends.
The hosts finished on 141/4 and Grafton were in reasonable shape after ten overs of their chase. Olly Westbury’s innings mirrored Lowen’s as he searched for a significant partnership. University took the pace off the ball and Grafton only found the boundary seven times – Westbury himself hitting five. When Grafton needed boundaries the most, requiring 49 runs from the final four overs, Vijay Anand and Anthonie Clement only conceded 28.
Auckland University 141/4 (C. Lowen 71, N. Bhana 3-24) defeated 120/6 (O. Westbury 57) by 21 runs.