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CRICKET

The young teams in Senior B club cricket are doing it hard and that's how it should be.

Both Gisborne Boys' High School (2) and Campion College had a tough weekend, up against good older teams at the Harry Barker Reserve.

Nor did Hope Cup holders Bollywood Stars High School Old Boys Presidents, led by Ollie Needham, have an easy road to victory. They bowled Rawhiti Legal OBR out off the second-last ball of their 30-over match to win by one run.

OBR captain Craig Christophers, who took 2-21 in six overs, was pleased with the excellent senior debut for the club of Sonrise School students Johnathan Gray and Jonah Reynolds.

Left-arm pace bowler Gray took 2-29 in five quality overs playing alongside his father Deevon, while Reynolds had the opportunity to bat at No.6. At the same time, Gray's twin brother Marcus debuted for High School Old Boys.

Marcus, batting at No.6, was on four not out at the end of the innings and his first wicket in senior cricket was that of Jonah's dad, No.11 George Reynolds, caught by Mahmood Khan for two off the game's penultimate delivery. Marcus finished with 1-8 from 2.5 overs.

The game began with Christophers winning the toss and choosing to bowl on the practice wicket.

HSOB got to 147-6. Needham (37) faced the first ball and the newly reintegrated Jarrod Renouf came to the party with 62 from No.4. He hit a six and nine fours from the 47 balls he faced in 54 minutes.

The Presidents' first three partnerships were worth 41, 33 and 29 — not earth-shattering stuff but solid enough. They lost five games in a row to start the season, having put up 190 — their highest team total to date — in their 53-run, Round 1 loss to OBR at Nelson Park.

Wicketkeeper Needham was well satisfied with his team's match-effort.

“It was a close finish that could have gone either way,” he said.

“We ended up 30 runs short of where we would've liked to be, having been 68-1 at drinks, with a lightning-fast outfield and some short boundaries offering good value for your shots.

“OBR got off to a flyer at 38-0 after five overs but ended the next over 46-2, having lost openers Craig Christophers (32) and Philburgh Viljoen Jnr (10).

“Although expensive, our seamer Anil Kumar (3-49 off six overs) picked up their numbers 1, 2 and 4 (Phil Viljoen Snr, for 7).”

The game turned on a run-out (the second of three in the OBR innings). Renouf, at short cover, made a partial stop and bowler Mahmmod Khan threw the stumps down with a sprawling Jannie Jacobs well-short of his ground.

Umpires Marty Bennett and Gary Coutts both gave good service in the match, and Bennett made possibly the best officials' call of the day. On the Jacobs run-out, he was at the bowler's end: his speed to get clear and then the angle he got on wicket down versus the grounding of the bat provided a brilliant example of good position equals correct decision.

This is not easy to achieve when, as in this case, a bowler two metres from the sticks at his own end takes the shot as the striker dives for safety.

Jacobs had hit two sixes and four fours in his bruising knock of 42 from 37 balls. His unbeaten 126 against HSOB on October 30 featured 11 sixes and nine fours. He had to go for the Presidents to stand any chance of victory.

With the field up to save singles and OBR at 146-9 after 29.4 overs, Marcus closed the game out with his twin, in at No.10, left unbeaten on six.

Needham pointed out that one swallow does not a summer make.

“It's a satisfying result but we're not getting carried away by only our second win of the season,” he said.

“A lot of hard work and improvement are still required if we're to be Hope Cup contenders again.”

Horouta Te Waka bowlers can put the screws on.

And the green-and-gold did just that against Gisborne Boys' High School (2)on Saturday. Where in Round 1 Horouta had made 225-5 before bowling GBHS out in 19.5 overs at Nelson Park, and on December 4 Te Waka put up 199 before dismissing Boys' High two balls into the 28th over on the practice wicket, on this occasion Boys' High were only five down after 30 overs.

But 73 is not a defendable total and Mel Knight's crew beat them by six wickets in 10.2 overs.

Boys' High game-day captain George Gillies led his team by example with 18 not out as his team proved, for only the second time this season, that they could go the distance with the bat.

Horouta skipper Knight gave the younger team credit.

“Those boys applied themselves with the bat — they valued their wicket, and at the same time the bowling was good,” she said.

“Some of our players definitely need to learn about shot selection. They hit a long ball, most of them, but not respecting the good one cost us wickets.”

Gillies won the toss on HBR 3. He chose to bat first, and — with the ascension to the first 11 of Bekko Page and Kelan Bryant requiring new batsmen to step up — Gillies tried the left-hand, right-hand pair of Kavindu Withanage and Dylan Torrie at the top of the order.

They were together for 11.2 overs.

Te Waka opened up with left-arm orthodox spinner Clarence Campbell, who bowled two maidens in his first three overs, and off-spinner Knight. The former Northern Spirit player bowled three maidens in her four-over spell, conceding one run.

Cagey veteran Mike Tapp, a leftie in the Campbell mould, flighted the ball nicely for three overs and so Horouta's finger-spinners gave away only 24 runs in 13 overs.

Yet it was the great-hearted, bustling medium-pacer James Craig who shone with the ball. He took a well-deserved 4-21 off six overs, two of them maidens. His third wicket — that of the elegant and capable Nathaniel Fearnley, in at No.5 — came when Campbell at slip held the catch off a deflection from gloveman Riley Horsfield.

It was a difficult chance, well taken, but it would have been pipped for catch of the match by Gillies's low, one-handed grab at slip to dismiss Horouta first-drop Aman Kamboj (18) off the bowling of left-arm orthodox spinner Riker Rolls (1-21 off three overs), who had three catches dropped off his bowling.

Dylan Worsnop held a hard-hit catch at point to dismiss opener Akshay Akshay — with Akshay's score and the total at four — five balls into the first over of Boys' High spearhead Akira Makiri.

In five overs against HSOB Presidents just before Christmas, Makiri took 2-21. On Saturday he collected 3-21 in four overs. Akshay's opening partner Vishal Singh was out leg before wicket first ball and when Makiri yorked Te Waka No.5 Duncan Gibson for 7, Horouta were 33-4.

As Campbell and Knight opened the bowling for Horouta, so for Boys' High did spin take a share of the new ball through their left-arm orthodox spinner Riker Rolls. He created chances, as did debutants Jack Holden and Ted Gillies.

The older team gave Boys' High a wicket opportunity per over at one stage, but that goes with being one of the most entertaining, enjoyable sides in Senior B cricket.

George Gillies showed qualities that many good captains share.

“Horouta bowled a tight line that made our openers have to work hard — and the opposition batsmen were too good for us on the day — but from this first game back, we can only grow,” said Gillies, whose people skills and ability to think cricket stand him in good stead.

“Akira gave us hope. Our boys had good energy in the field and stayed in the fight to the end.”

It should be no surprise to anyone that Jonty Fenn was the last man standing for Campion College.

Fenn, who batted at No.6, was unbeaten on 12 as Campion were dismissed for 39 in 22.2 overs. The Mike Gibson-led Civil Project Solutions Ngatapa Green Caps scored 41 in 7.5 overs to beat Campion by nine wickets on HBR 4.

In Round 1 on Nelson Park No.5, then-captain Liam Spring had won the toss, opted to bat and — due in large part to Spring's 69 from No.1 — Campion got through to 137-8 in 30 overs.

Saturday's unit featured Gagandeep Singh, Manjodh Singh and Ramandeep Singh for Spring, Luke Hurlstone and Anikate Bandral. The loss of players with the experience of Spring, Hurlstone and Bandral represents runs, wickets and cricket resources that are only replaced over time.

Four balls into the fifth over, Campion had lost five wickets for nine runs. Their largest partnership was one of 10 between Fenn and No.10 Ramandeep Singh (one run) for the ninth wicket. Fenn and his captain Hamish Swann — who faced the first ball of the match — hit their side's two boundaries.

Ngatapa's Zac Borrie took 2-8 in three overs and his new-ball partner Ryan West took 3-1 in two.

Campion's Connor Starck took the wicket of Ben Holden — bowled for one — 1.2 overs into the Ngatapa innings. Holden had been great value for Ngatapa in the game on October 30, taking 3-29 in five overs; his partner at the top of the batting order on Saturday, Chris Hurlstone (10no), was with Green Caps skipper Gibson (24 off 20) when Gibson hit his fifth boundary to win the game.

Gibson was most pleased with the performance behind the stumps by wicketkeeper Cam McNaught, who was deputising for the injured Simon Wilson.

Campion College coach Mark Naden said: “We were very proud of Jonty Fenn. He faced 45 deliveries and was the main reason we batted for 22.1 overs.

“The main learning for our boys was that they needed to take a full stride to defend on the front foot, not a half-step, against bowling on a good line and length.”