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Sonrise come up against high-quality side

CRICKET.

Big things have small beginnings.

Such was the case yesterday, with Sonrise Christian School’s first foray outside Gisborne in the nine-a-side primary boys’ New Zealand Cup cricket tournament.

Last season, Sonrise beat Gisborne Intermediate, Ilminster and Campion College to become Poverty Bay champions. In Whakatane yesterday, they lost to Bay of Plenty’s Tauranga Intermediate by six wickets.

Sonrise captain David Gray won the toss and chose to bat first at Rex Morpeth Park.

Tauranga’s seamers — in particular Shima Fletcher, with two wickets for two runs off three overs — bowled full and straight on the artificial wicket, as Sonrise were dismissed for 35 in 16 overs of the T20 contest.

Opener Jonah Reynolds hit two boundaries and led the visitors’ scorers with 10 runs from 18 balls.

Tauranga captain Kale Wellington and wicketkeeper Ashton Lucas both made 13 not out from Nos 3 and 4 respectively, with Wellington playing two remarkable cut-shots for four in the chase.

Tauranga made 38-2 in 5.4 overs, Gray having given them a nervous moment or two with good pace and swing for 2-21 off three overs.

The home team — three-time national champions under long-serving coach Aubrey Jeftha — played high-quality cricket yesterday, Sonrise coach Phil Viljoen said.

“The boys played the game in great spirit despite the result, and never gave up,” he said.

“It just wasn’t our day.”