Orton century sets up Tararua Shield win for Wellington

A match winning century from Eastern Surburbs opener Ben Orton and four wickets and a key catch by Dane Hutchinson set up Wellington City’s Tararua Shield Final win over Hutt Valley at Karori Park on Sunday.

Orton’s 121 at better than a run a ball carried Wellington City to a narrow 12-run victory over top qualifiers Hutt Valley in the Final of the inaugural competition, also involving the Wairarapa and Manawatu representative sides.

Winning the toss and batting first, Wellington City scored 272 for 8 off their allotted 50 overs. Orton scored his 121 off 120 balls, hitting eleven 4s and four 6s, before being dismissed in the 41st over. Several other Wellington batsmen made handy contributions, Onslow’s Barry Rhodes making 30, North City’s Neeraj Chawla 23 and Karori’s Harry Wright and Onslow’s Sean O’Connor both reaching 21.

For Hutt Valley, Upper Hutt’s Ollie Newton took 4 for 42 off his 10 overs, while Iain McPeake (Hutt District), captain Mark Houghton (Taita), Sam Fraser (Hutt District) and Kieran Lennon (Hutt District) each grabbed a wicket apiece.

In reply, Hutt Valley recovered from losing their top order cheaply to make a spirited run chase, before being bowled out for 260 with an over remaining.

North City opening bowler Dane Hutchinson put the Hutt side on the back seat, taking the wickets of the top three Hutt batsmen, Nick Ward (Petone-Eastbourne), Phil Tunnicliffe (Taita) and Fraser Colson (Hutt District) to have them 27 for 3.

But the middle order, started by Upper Hutt’s Matt Taylor and carried on by Hutt District’s Darren Cudby, mounted a fightback and ensured the Final would run close.

Taylor, who batted for over two hours and scored 86 off 89 balls, developed partnerships with Taita’s Henry Walsh (27) and Kieran Lennon (23). When Lennon was dismissed they were 120 for 5 in the 28th over with required run rate approaching seven an over.

Skipper Houghton became one of his opposite Lance Dry’s two victims, reducing Hutt Valley to 137 for 6 at the end of the 32nd over and the run rate needed now at seven and a half an over.

But enter wicket-keeper Darren Cudby, who lent good support to Taylor. The pair climbed into the bowling, putting on 72 runs in 10 overs and carrying the total to 219.  In this partnership Taylor flew past his half century and rattled into the 80s, before being caught by Hutchinson off the bowling off Easts’ Seb Logan.

Now batting with the lower order, Cudby endevoured to bring the Hutt side home, but ultimately ran out of partners and was left not on 63 off just 47 balls.

Hutchinson came back into the attack and picked up another wicket, finishing with 4 for 29 off 9 overs.

Easts duo Jamie Gibson and Lance Dry finished with two wickets each.

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