Easts go top at National Club Champs

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.

Ben Orton and Jeremy Dean both hit centuries and Ronald Karaitiana took 5 wickets as they beat local club Parnell by 124 runs on Friday.

The points table is:

Eastern Suburbs 7 (net run rate 1.24); Kaikorai of Otago 7 (0.08); Old Boys Collegians of Canterbury 7 (-0.02); New Plymouth Marist Utd of CD 7 (-0.38); Kaipara Flats of ND 4 (0.12); Parnell of Auckland 1 (-1.17)

Saturday’s matches:

Eastern Suburbs (W) v Old Boys Collegian (C)
New Plymouth Marist Utd (CD)v Kaipara Flats (ND)
Kaikorai (O) v Parnell (A)

Day four round-up:

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.

Kaipara Flats (Northern Districts) 205 (Brad Wilson 38, Michael O’Flaherty 51, Michael Parlane 35*; Ian Robertson 3/16) LOST TO Kaikorai (Otago) 207/7 (Ian Robertson 56, Dan Duke 69*) by 3 wickets

Kaikorai stuck to their task well and would have been satisfied after their bowling innings dismissing Kaipara Flats for just 205. Dan Duke picked up dangerman Brad Wilson to leave the Northern Districts side at 48/2 and despite a fighting half century from Michael O’Flaherty and some late order hitting from captain Michael Parlaine they would have felt their total was slightly under par. The legspin of Ian Robertson was again excellent for Kaikorai picking up 3/16 in 9.3 overs.

Kaipara Flats would have felt confident when they removed Ian Robertson on 56 and had the Otago side on 144/7 but they didn’t account for Dan Duke. After his key role earlier he made sure he was the player of the game with an excellent 69 off 59 balls and with the calm support of Will Deerness he steered the side home and right into finals contention.

New Plymouth Marist Utd (Central Districts) 272 (Matt Sim 70, Josh Barrett 39, Ryan Bridgeman 55*; Todd Astle 3/36 ) DEFEATED  Old Boys Collegian (Canterbury) 228 (Paul Knight 58, Joel Abraham 42, David Wakefield 46; Sam Wells 4/55, Sam Barrett 3/50) by 44 runs

New Plymouth made a slow start on the No 3 wicket as Old Boys continued their habit of bowling well up front with van Beek and McEwan. Matt Sim steadied the ship with an almost run a ball 70 but he was the 6th wicket to fall and one of Blackcap Todd Astles victims. Astle orchestrated a period where 4 wickets fell for 10 runs to grab the momentum back for the Canterbury side and he finished with figures of 3/36. Late order hitting is always a risk on this small pitch though and Marists tail wagged with first Josh Barrett clubbing 39 and then Wicketkeeper Ryan Bridgeman batting through till the end with an unbeaten half century to get his side to 272/9.

Old Boys Collegians would have thought with 3 of their top 5 scoring over 40, one would have kicked on and closed the game out for them but as each fell individually, Knight (58) LBW to bowler of the game Sam Wells, Abraham (42) to an excellent catch and David Wakefield (46) to some sharp work in the field, OBC’s hopes went with them. A late cameo from Bill Walsh gave some hope but Marist’s tails were up and the Sams; Barrett and Wells closed out the game for a comfortable victory.

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