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Boys’ High win nailbiter

MAN OF THE MATCH: Josiah Turner scored 67 runs for Gisborne Boys’ High School then took 5-51 in their victory over High School Old Boys at Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday.File picture by Paul Rickard

CRICKET by Jack Malcolm

A man-of-the-match performance from Josiah Turner was crucial to Gisborne Boys’ High School’s victory over High School Old Boys and their extended lead in the DJ Barry Cup standings.

Turner hit seven fours and two sixes in an innings of 67 runs as Galaxy World GBHS rocketed to 214-9 from their 40 overs, then took a five-fer with the ball — 5-51 off 10 overs — at Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday.

The team recovered from early adversity to take control of the game and win with one ball to spare and avoid the draw.

Bollywood Stars HSOB started strong, dismissing openers David Gray and Luke Fisher for ducks.

Boys’ High recovered quickly through Graham Sharp (44) before Jagroop Singh enticed him into a dangerous shot that Angus Orsler caught.

At the fall of Sharp’s wicket, GBHS were 94-4 in the 14th over, and the middle order built on that.

Turner was the standout performer, but a crucial six-over partnership for the last wicket between Daniel Stewart and Matthew Foster got GBHS over 200 and prevented HSOB from getting extra overs for bowling them out.

The majority of the GBHS side got good starts, adding invaluable runs to the team’s total, and HSOB didn’t make it easy on themselves, bowling 39 extras, including 30 wides.

GBHS also struggled with their accuracy, giving away 38 extras, including 35 wides. They used eight bowlers, six of whom earned wickets as Boys’ High dismissed HSOB for 161 on the second-last ball of the innings.

The HSOB innings started similarly to that of GBHS. They lost openers Baxter Mackay (2) and captain Carl Shaw (0) cheaply before a resurgence from Scott Tallott (36) and Sean Wills (18) steadied the ship.

Shaw said his team weren’t batting for a draw at any stage, but as the required run-rate grew, the scoring slowed down dramatically.

“Two hundred runs was a par total on that batting deck, and we really should have done better.”

Despite having “sections” of good batting and fielding, lapses in concentration cost them dearly, he said.

“We still haven’t been able to put a complete performance together through an innings this season.”

“GBHS bowled well. It’s great to see how much they have improved their batting throughout the season being able to play alongside the talented adults in their team.”

With Ryan Majstrovic (29 runs) dismissed in the 29th over and the tail exposed, Angus Orsler batted diligently, absorbing 68 balls for 18 runs over 95 minutes while he watched his batting partners fold under the pressure.

HSOB were reduced to their last wicket in the 33rd over and it looked as if their fate was all but sealed, but heroics from Orsler and Singh raised hopes that they would be able to see out their 40 overs.

They batted through to the game’s penultimate delivery, Singh keeping out 20 deliveries for one run before he was finally dismissed by Te-Reimana Gray, coming round the wicket with a full ball for a plumb leg-before-wicket decision.

GBHS coach Mal Trowell said the team effort from the entire squad was “awesome”.

“In the end, HSOB were hanging in for a draw and they lasted to the penultimate ball of the game. The lads were ecstatic. You could hear the celebration all over the Harry Barker Reserve . . . one of those games the men will remember for a long time.”

The combination of OBR’s Ian Loffler and captain Nick Greeks combined for seven wickets in a display of spin bowling prowess that dismantled the Horouta tail-enders in DJ Barry Cup cricket on Saturday.

Loffler took four wickets, three of them in four balls, in his 10 overs while conceding only 25 runs.

Greeks took 3-22 off 5.1 overs.

Building on those performances, Coastal Concrete OBR won the match by six wickets.

Horouta started positively. Led by captain David Situ (38), all of their top order scored runs.

When Situ was dismissed at the end of the 26th over, Horouta were 97-4. But the last six batsmen could manage only one more run before Horouta were all out, 98-9 (they were a player short). Two ducks and two golden ducks were included in the last five dismissals.

It was a stand-up effort from the entire OBR squad, who played the first quarter of the innings a fielder down. Horouta were also undermanned, but they could not stem the flow of runs as efficiently as OBR, whose batsmen scored freely to all areas of the park.

Greeks said it was “awesome” to have the experience of Ian Loffler in the side again after he missed several weeks because of other commitments.

He was proud of the way all the bowlers performed, restricting the Horouta scoring, before the team cruised home with the bat.

“James Torrie and Sam Patterson opened well and got us off to a good start, and Joe Loffler and I saw it off. We’re stoked to get the win.”

OBR quickly chased down the required total in 21 overs to polish off a strong performance. Their form puts the other teams on notice going into the playoffs in two weeks.

Horouta had started so positively, and to see them crumble so dramatically would have been crushing to the team who had been looking like they had come into a run of form to challenge any opposition.

Situ said that despite the good start, the tail struggled against Loffler and Greeks. It was likely they hadn’t had enough time in the nets against spin bowlers.

“They didn’t look comfortable; they were just sticking their bat out at the ball,” he said.

Situ said it was never going to be easy defending their total, but he saw positives in the performance.

The top order all got good starts and, with better shot selection once they’d established themselves at the crease, the team could be competitive down the stretch.

“We’re still looking to get the complete performance . . . there’s potential in the top order.”

He said the loss was different to the situation at the start of the season, when they also struggled to find runs. In those games, the batsmen at the top of the order were in poor form, and the tail were scraping together a contestable total. In this game the opposite applied.