Preview – Two-Day Championships | Round One
The first round of the Hedley Howarth and Tom Hellaby Championships kick off this weekend, as the Jeff Crowe Cup takes a break for November.
Hedley Howarth Championship
Suburbs New Lynn is returned to the Hedley Howarth and will face a stubborn challenge in round one from Takapuna. The Pirates are coming off two weeks of wins by more than 100 runs. Suburbs will be looking to tap into the form that saw them win the minor championship last year, particularly as they’re back on their home turf at Ken Maunder Park.
Parnell plays their first game of the season away from Shore Road this Saturday, heading to Colin Maiden to take on University. Both teams have had mixed results so far – Parnell collapsed in the first week against North Shore, and University were one of Takapuna’s victims last week.
Parnell will be looking for another long batting performance from Ben Rae; and hoping the patience of their opening batsmen carries over from last week.
The only game of the round to feature two teams which were undefeated in the first two weeks of the season is East Coast Bays hosting Howick Pakuranga. The Alpacas have been playing seriously impressive cricket this year with Donovan Grobbelaar in particular dangerous with both bat and ball.
Cornwall were frustrated against Parnell last Saturday, after their first-week demolition of Waitakere. The initial stages of their match against Papatoetoe may come down to which team manages to hold their nerve the longest and whether players like Harshal Vyas for Papatoetoe and Lance Rodrigues for Cornwall are on-form.
Hedley Howarth Championship – Round One, Day One
Suburbs New Lynn v Takapuna – Ken Maunder Park – 11:00am
Auckland University v Parnell – Colin Maiden Park – 11:00am
East Coast Bays v Howick Pakuranga – Windsor Park – 11:00am
Papatoetoe v Cornwall – Papatoetoe Rec – 11:00am
Tom Hellaby Championship
Grafton and Ellerslie will end up playing each other for three weeks on the trot, after the sides met last week at Michaels Ave. Ellerslie Coach Alan Burton returns to his old stomping ground of Victoria Park, where he played more than 100 Premier games for Grafton. He will be hoping Ellerslie put on a better showing with the bat than they did last week.
Birkenhead are looking for their first win of the season when they head to Devonport to take on North Shore. Birkenhead will probably feel they have a going chance going into the game after they scored 278 runs against East Coast Bays last week, but North Shore has the players to put on a good performance if they can get going.
Another side looking to shake off their limited overs showing is Waitakere, who are at Keith Hay Park against Eden Roskill. Waitakere have yet to make it to 50 overs in the Jeff Crowe Cup and will need to put on a better effort to hold off Eden Roskill. ER has put on a couple of solid showings for mixed results, and will be after a standout performance from one of their players to start the Tom Hellaby Championship.
Tom Hellaby Championship – Round One, Day One
Grafton v Ellerslie – Victoria Park – 11:00am
North Shore v Birkenhead – Devonport Domain – 11:00am
Eden Roskill v Waitakere – Keith Hay Park – 11:00am