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Trio shine in OBR win

HSOB hold on to competition lead, but it’s close.

Half-centuries to Herschel Barker and Kieren Venema and a five-wicket haul to Ian Loffler propelled OBR to a 69-run victory over Horouta in Gisborne club cricket on Saturday.

After starting shakily, Coastal Concrete OBR stabilised their innings with Barker (50 runs) batting at No.3 and forming a 59-run partnership with Josh Adams (31).

Venema (50) kept the middle-order runs flowing while Siteworx Civil Horouta slowly worked their way through the batting line-up to expose the tail.

Horouta had six wicket-takers from the eight bowlers they used.

They were efficient with the ball early, opening bowlers Bruno Judd and Shubham Ralhan finding early success.

Judd broke took the key wickets of opener Jack Faulkner (4) and Ian Loffler (0) in the first three deliveries of the sixth over to have OBR 18-3, while Ralhan allowed just 14 runs from his eight overs and took the wicket of danger-man Paul Stewart.

Ralhan also delivered the throw that led to Venema being run out, but Horouta lost their early momentum.

OBR’s run rate climbed over by over as they took control of the game.

A wagging OBR tail, with Jack Harrison (27) and Matt Cook (11) forming a stubborn 27-run ninth-wicket partnership, saw them end their innings on 220-8.

Horouta captain David Situ said he thought OBR’s total was within reach, but they had made it harder for themselves by conceding 33 extras.

“It’s our first proper 40-over game this season, and we struggled to concentrate in the field.”

Jimmy Holden opened the OBR bowling effort with a wicket-maiden, bowling Ben Brick on the third ball.

Horouta stabilised with a 43-run second-wicket partnership between Situ (29) and Harmanjeet Gill (10) before they lost their wickets in consecutive overs.

Shubham Ralhan (24), Heyan Ranasinghe (19) and Aekamjot Singh (18) chipped in with runs through the middle order, but Horouta never met the required run rate.

Their consistent loss of wickets hampered any bid for quick runs, with Loffler working his way through the batting line-up.

He allowed just 26 runs for his five wickets, bowling two maidens in an eight-over spell.

Ultimately, Horouta’s efforts were not enough, but they fought to the last man, Hasantha Vithanage scoring 12 not out as last man in.

OBR captain Nick Greeks said the game tested their mettle, and he was proud of how they responded.

“Their opening bowlers bowled well and had us 18-3 early on, but Herschel and Kieran applied themselves and made well-deserved 50s to get us to what I thought was a really good total.”

He said his side were astounding in the field, backing up Loffler’s bowling with a strong all-round team performance.

“Ian bowled a superb line and length and took the game away from them very quickly with his five-wicket haul.”

High School Old Boys held on to their top spot on the Doleman Cup leaderboard with a 95-run win against Gisborne Boys’ High School.

After losing the toss and having to bat, Bollywood Stars HSOB made 229-9 before they bowled out Galaxy World GBHS for 134 runs in 33 overs.

The strong win keeps HSOB above OBR on points differential, even though both teams have started the season with two wins.

HSOB had a good start to their innings, Carl Shaw (31) and Baxter Mackay (27) laying a strong foundation.

The rest of the batting line-up chipped in, seven players scoring in double figures.

Sean Willis was the best of them, earning 61 runs from 48 deliveries before Nathan Trowell caught him off the bowling of Seb Wilson in the 39th over.

Boys’ High kept themselves in the game with strong fielding, effecting three run-outs late in the innings while allowing just one bye and two leg byes.

The run-outs came after HSOB looked to put on the afterburners with wickets in hand.

Boys’ High captain Nathan Trowell said they weren’t aggressive enough in the field at times and would work on tightening that up.

A positive aspect was that they picked up wickets at crucial times to keep in the game and give themselves a chance with the bat.

“We believed we could chase 230 if we applied ourselves and got key partnerships.

“More importantly, we seemed to bat a lot better and with more confidence.”

Boys’ High started the run chase strongly with a 27-run opening partnership between Graham Sharp (11) and Cohen Loffler (23), but a consistent fall of wickets blighted their innings.

Jagroop Singh took four wickets in cleaning up the Boys’ High lower order.

Travis O’Rourke top-scored with 27 runs.

Several Boys’ High players got good starts but were dismissed before they could bat on and make a meaningful impact on the total.

HSOB captain Carl Shaw said Willis was the star of their batting effort, but too many had made starts without pushing on, and poor shot selection had cost them.

“Sean’s innings was almost perfect . . . great timing, composure and unselfishness.”

Shaw said Wilson had bowled well for Boys’ High and deserved more wickets for his efforts, but he was happy with how HSOB were able to use the ball with a varied attack.

“I was nice to see Cody (Andrews) start to hit his straps,” Shaw said.

“Angus (Orsler) bowled really well and picked up the key wicket (of Sharp) again. I’m really happy with his performances week after week.

“Marshal (Norris) and G (Gaurav Kashyap) bowling eight on the trot with amazing consistency and patience was great, but it’s hard not to be blown away by Jagroop coming on and picking up the (four) wickets. It was an incredible execution of his game plan. He deserved all the wickets.”

All-round effort: Gisborne Boys’ High School bowler Cohen Loffler sends down a ball against High School Old Boys as umpire Jason Trowill watches closely. Opening the batting, Loffler gave his side a good start in their run chase, scoring 23, but they fell 95 runs short. Pictures by Paul Rickard
On the front foot: Herschel Barker hits out in his half-century for OBR in their 69-run victory over Horouta in club cricket at the Harry Barker Reserve on Saturday.