Easts win Pearce Cup title inside two days

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Day one report

Eastern Suburbs bagged their 11th Wilkinson Pearce Cup title in the past 12 seasons by beating Karori outright by 9 wickets on Saturday in the Final at the Hawkins Basin Reserve.

The Pearce Cup Final was scheduled for three days, but the defending champions knocked off the winning runs inside 20 overs of the fourth innings on day two to claim victory.

Easts now turn their attention to the National Club Championships at Auckland, from 9-14 April. Easts will join Parnell (Auckland), Kaipara Flats (Northern Districts), New Plymouth Marist United (Central Districts), Old Boys Collegian (Canterbury), and Kaikorai (Otago) at the tournament at the Cornwall Cricket Club.They are representing Wellington at that tournament as winners of the Ewen Chatfield Cup Premier 50-over competition earlier in the season.

Easts’ outright win over Karori was set up in the third innings of the match when they bowled Kaori out for a second time for just 96 in 25.5 overs.

Strike bowlers Ricky Joseph (pictured right bowling in the first innings) and Jamie Gibson did all the damage. Joseph took 6 for 41 and Gibson 4 for 50.

This meant that Easts openers Josh Brodie and Ben Orton came out to bat a second time needing just 115 to win.

Orton was dismissed for 38, but Brodie was there at the end, unbeaten on 56, alongside Josh McLauchlan on 17.

McLaughlan was Easts’ equal top scorer in the first innings with 24 as Easts trailed Karori on first innings.

On day one, Karori had scored 155 on and Easts had gone to stumps in some trouble at 78 for 6 after Firebirds Andy McKay and Harry Boam had taken the first five wickets between them.

Resuming on day two, Easts lost an early wicket to be 81 for 7. But a 43-run partnership for the eighth wicket between Andrew Fullerton-Smith (24 not out) and Chamika Gajanayaka (22) took their total to 137.

Karori led by 18 runs at the end of the first innings.

Batting again, Karori were quickly in trouble, losing both openers early, including Firebirds four-day captain Stephen Murdoch, to be 8 for 2.

This soon became 23 for 3, 25 for 4 and 26 for 5 in just the seventh over of the innings as Joseph and Gibson ripped through their top and middle order.

Karori’s skipper Hamish Templeton was the next to go in the 14th over, making it 49 for 6. From there it was all downhill as Joseph and Gibson - the only two bowlers used in the second innings - finished them off.

The target of 115 was never going to be enough, as Brodie led the way to finish unbeaten on 56 off 68 balls. His was also the only half century of the match.

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