Central off to flyer in Provincial A

Central have got their Provincial A tournament off to a great start, beating defending champions Auckland by seven wickets.

With rain limiting the match to 38 overs per side, Auckland went on to be dismissed for 189 off 37.1 overs.  Central’s target was revised to 200, but it didn’t prove an issue as they surpassed the total after 35 overs.

The pursuit never looked in doubt, with four of the top five making scores of 36 or more.

Michael Taiaroa top scored with an unbeaten 56 to seal the victory, while opener David Meiring had earlier got his side off a strong start with 46. Greg Hay (36) and captain BJ Barnett (37*) also chipped in.

All the way through Central remained calm in their reply and ended up deserved and convincing victors.

In the first innings, Auckland captain Tim McIntosh had been the first to for 14. His co-opener Michael Barry at the other end was in good touch though and played well to bring up 64 from 85 balls.

However, in his time at the crease he found only one other player who stuck around at all, with Dusan Hakaraia the only other player to make double digits.

The pair put on a crucial 80 run stand for the third wicket and took Auckland within six of 150. Hakaraia made his half-century and was on 58 when he was caught in the 30th over.

It started somewhat of a collapse, with the next seven wickets going for just 45 runs.

Andrew Lamb ran through the middle and lower-order and finished with four wickets from his 7.1 overs for 22 runs.

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