Easts finish third at National Club Championships

Wellington One-Day club champions Eastern Suburbs finished third at the NZCT National Club Championships held recently in Auckland, with Ben Orton finishing as the tournament’s highest run scorer and Ronald Karaitiana as the equal leading wicket-taker.

Orton made 368 runs in the five-match tournament, while Karaitiana finished with 14 wickets alongside Kaikorai’s (Otago) Dan Duke as Easts wrapped up the tournament in style with an emphatic win over Kaikorai in the playoff for third and fourth on Saturday.

Easts recorded the highest total of the tournament when they made 406 for 9 in their first innings against Kaikorai. Doing the majority of the damage were openers Orton and Jeremy Dean. The pair put on an explosive 207 for the first wicket, with their partnership coming off just 17.5 overs. Dean made 117 off 66 balls, including 19 fours and two sixes, while Orton made 87 form 47 deliveries with seven fours and six sixes.

Kairorai required something special to have any chance, but were unable to challenge the 400 plus score and were dismissed after 22.1 overs. Ricky Joseph was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 5 for 48 from ten overs.

Previously, Easts had met a defeat to Canterbury’s Old Boys-Collegians, who went on win the title the next day.

In a low scoring contest, Easts lost by just 5 runs. Easts dismissed the Old Boys-Collegians side for 125, with the wickets shared around. In reply, Dean made 48 as Easts were bowled out for 120.

Wellington’s Eastern Subrubs lead the standings, on net run rate, heading into Saturday’s fifth and final set of round-robin matches at the NZCT National Club Championships in Auckland.

In their match on Friday against Parnell Orton and Dean both hit centuries and Karaitiana took 5 wickets as they beat local club Parnell by 124 runs. Days one to four reports below:

Day four:

Eastern Suburbs (Wellington) 304/6
(Ben Orton 113, Jeremy Dean 112; James Walsh 3/37) DEFEATED Parnell (Auckland) 181 (Ben Rae 51, Kirk Bunting 39; Jamie Gibson 3/36, Ronald Karaitiana 5/46) by 124 runs

Eastern Suburbs top order had a field day on the number 1 at Cornwall Park with both openers picking up centuries. Jeremy Dean went first taking only 91 balls for his 112 runs before he fell to a fired up James Walsh. Walsh picked up his 3 in quick succession bowling with real pace to have Easts wobbling at 188/3 but Ben Orton was still there and brought up his hundred and with some middle order support guided the Wellington side to 304/6.

Parnell’s innings was a familiar story with a number of batsmen getting starts but losing their wickets at crucial times. Ben Rae again provided a solid platform with 51 opening the batting and when together with Kirk Bunting (39) it looked like Parnell were setting themselves for a real go at the total but when both fell in consecutive overs the game was Eastern Suburbs. Ronald Karaitiana was the pick of the bowlers with 5/46 and was well supported by Jamie Gibson with 3/36.

Day Three:

Eastern Suburbs (Wellington) 297/8
(Ben Orton 84, Chamika Gajanayaka 76*, Lance Dry 62*) had a NO RESULT with  Kaipara Flats (Northern Districts) 53/5 (Ronald Karaitiana 3-9)

The Cornwall number No3 found its mojo again as the last two overs of the Eastern Suburbs innings amounted to 66 runs. Captain Lance Dry was the main man responsible with 62 off 34 balls, 54 of them in boundaries. He was aided by wicketkeeper Chamika Gajanayaka with an, in comparison, pedestrian 76 off 54 balls. This all followed on from another strong showing at the top of the order from Firebird Ben Orton with 84 to get his team off to a strong start and allow them the platform to amass 297/8.

Day Two:

Eastern Suburbs (Wellington) 255 (Andrew Fullerton Smith 53, Jeremy Dean 42, Niranjan Naguleswaran 36) LOST TO Kaikorai (Otago) 182/8 (Iain Robertson 100*, Matt Hunter 40) BY 3 WICKETS (Target 179 from 35 overs)

A suberb century by skipper Iain Robertson paved the way for Kaikorai to record their first victory for the tournament.  The Otago side were chasing 179 once adjusted for a rain delay during the second innings.  Robertson smashed 100 not out off just 86 balls including 9 fours and 4 sixes.  Matt Hunter was the only other Kaikorai player to reach double figures making 40 opening the innings.  Earlier in the day Easts made their way to 255, eventually bowled out in the 49th over with Andrew Fullerton Smith the only batsman to make it past the half century milestone.  Both sides now sit with a one win, one loss record after the first two rounds of play and will be eager to sneer round 3 victories to advance their final stakes.

Day One:

Eastern Suburbs (Wellington) 265/9
(Chamika Gajanayaka 53, Ben Orton 59, Josh McLauchlan 41, Andrew Fullerton Smith 38) DEFEATED Marist Utd (Central Districts) 138 (Ryan Fleming 32, Josh Barrett 39*, Lancy Dry 3/22) BY 128 RUNS

Eastern Suburbs put up the highest score of the day thanks to some big hitting from opener Ben Orton with 59 at the top and wicketkeeper Chamika Gajanayaka at the end with 53. Boundaries flew throughout the innings with 29 fours and six 6’s but the Marist bowlers stuck to their task with 3 picking up a pair of wickets, the pick being Jarred Cunningham with 2/29 off his 10.

Wickets fell at regular intervals in the Marist innings and they ended up comfortably short of their target. Captain Ryan Flemings 32 and an entertaining lower order knock of 39* from Josh Barrett were the only bright spots and as Easts Captain Lancy Dry marshalled his troops well and picked up 3/22 to complete a good day for his side.

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