Cricket: Mount cruise to title victory

By Barry Leabourn

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Mount keeper/batsman Tim Clarke top scored in the final with 76 not out. Photo/Andrew Warner
Mount keeper/batsman Tim Clarke top scored in the final with 76 not out. Photo/Andrew Warner

Defending Baywide Cup champions Mount Maunganui went into the 2013 title decider against Element IMF Cadets on Saturday knowing that courtesy of the carry through points Cadets needed an outright victory to win the Baywide trophy.

Cadets batted first at Blake Park with the Mount bowlers putting plenty of pressure on the visitor's top order. The two Cadets openers were back in the changing sheds with just 32 runs on the board. Chris Page and Ben Christensen steadied the ship before Page was adjudged LBW to the bowling of Dale Swan for 37.

When Christensen went for 22, Cadets were in trouble at 90/6. Matt Hill, who worked hard for his 30 runs, was involved in the two handy partnerships with James Birchall and Morgan Bidois, to give their side a chance. However, when the last Cadets wickets fell with just 160 runs on the board, the half way advantage was firmly in the Mount Maunganui camp.

Mount skipper Peter Drysdale said his seamers did a great job of containing the Cadets top order on a wicket that looked to be batsman friendly.

"We put consistent pressure on their batsmen, with Dale Swan the pick of our bowlers taking four wickets for just 15 runs with his off-spinners," Drysdale said.

Mount openers Drysdale and Tim Clarke made their intentions clear from the opening ball, as the pair carved up the Cadets bowling attack. Mount Maunganui keeper/batsman Clarke lashed the Cadets bowling to finish with an unbeaten 76 while Drysdale was also in sublime touch, posting an undefeated 73, as Mount Maunganui waltzed home without the loss of a wicket to grab back-to-back titles.

"When Tim and I went out to bat, we saw a surface where we believed runs could be scored by playing straight. The wicket had enough grass but didn't slow the ball down appreciatively, with the runs flowing from straight shots" said the Mount captain. "While we were happy to defend the Baywide Cup which gives us the Bay of Plenty berth in the ND Club Champs, we know that we will have another big challenge on our hands when we meet Cadets in the Williams Cup in the second half of the season."

The battle for third place at the Te Puke Domain went down to the wire, before Eves Realty Greerton bowled City Sports Bar Te Puke out just seven runs short of their target. Greerton won the toss and elected to bat first against a solid Te Puke bowling attack. Led by Bay player/coach Ben Williams, who took five wickets, the visitors were removed for what looked to be a modest 157. At 109 for four, Te Puke seemed to be in control, however the re-introduction of the Greerton pace attack of Brett Hampton and Tommy Clout ripped out the last six Te Puke batsmen. Te Puke fell at 151 all out, with Scott Tallott top scoring with 46 while Tommy Clout took a five wicket bag for the victors.

Bay of Plenty Cricket Baywide Results 14 December 2013

Baywide Cup Championship Final

Element IMF Cadets 160 (Chris Page 37, Matt Hill 30, James Birchall 24, Ben Christensen 22; Dale Swan 4/15, Alex Gooding 2/11, Nick Smith 2/22) lost to Mount Maunganui 161/0 (Tim Clarke 76, Peter Drysdale 73)

Baywide Cup Playoff for Third

Eves Realty Greerton 157 (Dan Spencer 52, Cameron Neal 28, Tommy Clout 21; Ben Williams 5/43, Mitch McCann 2/19, Jeremy Bates 2/29) defeated City Sports Bar Te Puke 151 (Scott Tallott 46, B Williams 33; T Clout 5/57, B Hampton 3/27).

- Bay of Plenty Times

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