Cricket: A marathon effort for Williams Cup

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Te Puke celebrate after winning the Williams Cup on Friday.
Te Puke celebrate after winning the Williams Cup on Friday.

The 2016 Williams Cup title decider played on Easter Friday at the Bay Oval turned into a marathon with plenty of high drama before Te Puke finally claimed the season-ending finale in fading light after a three-hour delay due to heavy rain.

New World Te Puke won the toss and asked Carrus Mount Maunganui to bat first on a wicket which looked to have plenty of assistance for the bowlers. The Mount opening pair of Matt Golding and Blair McKenzie weathered the early storm with the defending Williams Cup title holders reaching 44/2 after the openers had departed.

The introduction of Te Puke medium-pacer Christian MacDonald paid immediate dividends, with Mount Maunganui in real trouble at 65/6. However, the Mount tail showed plenty of defiance, with No 10 batsmen Kyle Dovey producing his team's top score of 18. An 18-run partnership between Dovey and Luke Tatley saw Mount Maunganui bowled out for 136.

The first Te Puke wicket fell at 22 with Tai Bridgman-Raison, who top scored in the game with 20, the next to fall at 45/2.

Just after the Te Puke No3 batsman was removed without scoring, the rain drifted in with the players leaving the field for what turned out to be a three-hour break in play.

With the match up for grabs and both sides eager to achieve a result, there was plenty of prowling up and down the Bay Oval pavilion as the players waited for the drizzle to abate.

Finally around 6pm the rain stopped, with the umpires scheduling a 6.30pm resumption of the title decider.

A revised target of 86 meant Te Puke needed 39 to win off 42 balls. Mount Maunganui skipper Nick Smith worked hard with his off-spinners to take two wickets, with Te Puke finally needing two runs off the last ball of the match to claim victory. The Mount fielders could only watch as the Te Puke batsmen ran two to clinch the win.

The end of the Bay of Plenty 2015/16 season has seen the three Baywide titles shared around.

Realty Greerton annexed the Baywide Cup, Element IMF Cadets took out the Baywide T20 title with Te Puke winning the big prize of the Williams Cup.

Carrus Mount Maunganui 136 (Christian MacDonald 4/15, Alex Gooding 2/20, Brody Gilroy 2/30) lost to New World Te Puke 87/6 (Tai Bridgman-Raison 20, Nick Smith 2/15) rain-adjusted target 86.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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