In the closest tournament in living memory, five of six teams playing today were in contention to make the final of the National Club Championships at Cornwall Park.
Old Boys-Collegians qualified by dramatically defending just 125 against Eastern Suburbs. They will play Marist-United, who beat Kaipara Flats by three wickets. The final will begin at 10am tomorrow, Sunday 14 April at Cornwall Park No.1.
In what was effectively a semi-final, five Eastern Suburbs bowlers all took two wickets each to dismiss Old Boys-Collegians for just 125. It could have been lower, were it not for Logan van Beek's 58. In reply, Eastern Suburbs made steady progress and were were well on track before Todd Astle claimed a hat trick with the score at 117, just nine runs short of victory. The final wicket fell for 120 and Old Boys-Collegians had made the final in the most dramatic fashion.
In the other matches, Marist-United comfortably chased down Kaipara Flats' total thanks to Leith Johnson's 42 and Ryan Watson's 48 to qualify for the final by three wickets, while Parnell dismissed Kaikorai for just 98, thanks to Micheal Ravlic's devastating spell of 6/35.
Tomorrow's matches (all matches start at 10am)
National Club Championships Final
Old Boys-Collegians v Marist-United at Cornwall Park No.1, Auckland
3 v 4 Playoff
Eastern Suburbs v Kaikorai at Cornwall Park No.2, Auckland
5 v 6 Playoff
Kaipara Flats v Parnell at Cornwall Park No.3, Auckland
All matches will be live-scored at www.blackcaps.co.nz