Above: Jeremy Dean catches Harry Boam. Below: Easts' Jamie Gibson appeals for an LBW
It was a Good Friday for the bowlers as 16 wickets fell on the first day’s play of the three-day Wilkinson Pearce Cup at the Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Defending champions and top qualifier Eastern Suburbs won the toss and bowled first and dismissed Karori for 155.
But their batsmen found the going no easier than their Karori counterparts and ended the day on 78 for 6, trailing by 77 runs.
Karori, who need to win outright to claim the title, will hope for quick wickets on day two for a first innings lead.
The first wicket of the day fell in the second over, before Wellington Firebirds Stephen Murdoch and Harry Boam met in the middle to construct their innings.
But Murdoch and Boam departed in quick succession and Karori were 38 for 3. Wickets fell at regular intervals, including that of top scorer Harry Wright who was run out by former Firebird Ronald Karaitiana for 31.
Karaitiana was the best of the bowlers with 3 for 29, Jamie Gibson took 3 for 57 off 20 overs and Ricky Joseph (2) and Lance Dry were the other wicket-takers.
Firebirds Boam and McKay opened up Karori’s bowling against Firebirds batsmen Josh Brodie and Ben Orton, and the bowlers won the battle. Boam dismissed Brodie in the fourth over and McKay got out Orton at the start of the 11th to have Easts 25 for 2.
Josh McLauchlan and Karaitiana dug in, until left armer Fraser Quarterman had McLauchlan caught at the wicket for 24.
McKay and Boam then returned for their second spells and took three more wickets between them to have Easts six down by stumps.
McKay took 3 for 24 off 12 overs and Boam 2 for 27 off 10 overs.
Play resumes at 11.00 am on Saturday.Live scoring here