Baywide cricket preview for weekend

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IN FORM: Te Puke allrounder Alex Gooding has made a strong start to the season. Photo/File
IN FORM: Te Puke allrounder Alex Gooding has made a strong start to the season. Photo/File

With competition hotting up in the Baywide Cup title race, competition leaders Carrus Mount Maunganui top the leaderboards in both the batting and bowling.

Bay of Plenty representative batsman Ben Musgrave leads the individual batting statistics having belted 152 runs with a top score of 88 not out. Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys' College player/coach Tim Clarke sits in second spot with 111 runs, with the top three rounded out by New World Te Puke's Alex Gooding with a season tally of 101 runs.

Two Mount Maunganui spin bowlers lead the wicket-taking leaderboard. Skipper Dale Swan has captured eight bowling scalps with best figures of 4/5, with Nick Smith grabbing seven wickets with a best of 3/3. Cadets quick Gurwinder Singh has also been in sterling form with seven wickets.

On Saturday, Mount Maunganui travel to Rotorua to take on Bayleys Central Indians at Rotorua Cricket headquarters. The match up at Smallbone Park sees Mount Maunganui put their unbeaten start to the season on the line.

While Central Indians sit at the bottom of the standings, several individual players have stepped up to the mark in their first three games. Last weekend Ajay Kumar posted 59 against a strong Cadets bowling attack, while Prem Gill and Andrew Gibbs have been in form with the ball.

Second-placed Element IMF Cadets with square off with current Williams Cup titleholders Te Puke at the Tauranga Domain. Both teams have several batsman who can blast their side to victory. Cadets captain Scott Steward and Ben Christensen have Bay of Plenty representative credentials, with Morton Freer another who likes to put bat to ball.

Tai Bridgeman-Raison, who is currently tied for the most Te Puke premier centuries with the (late) ADG Roberts, is on a mission to own the three-figure title outright. Bay of Plenty Development captain Stephen Crossan and Gooding also like to take aim at the boundary ropes.

Defending Baywide Cup champions Eves Realty Greerton will be chasing back-to-back wins in their match-up with Tauranga Boys' College on Blake Park three. Last Saturday Greerton climbed of the bottom of the standings to beat Te Puke and will be desperate to win against Tauranga Boys' to keep their 2016 title hopes alive.

Tauranga Boys' bowlers Josh Ormrod and Iman Singh have shown genuine form with the ball in the Baywide Cup and both picked up three-wicket bags against Central Indians in the opening game of the season.

BOPCA Baywide Cup draw, Saturday, 12pm start
Element IMF Cadets v New World Te Puke, Tauranga Domain; Bayleys Central Indians v Carrus Mount Maunganui, Smallbone Park; Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys' College v Eves Realty Greerton, Blake3.
Points Table; Carrus Mount Maunganui 64, Element IMF Cadets 57, Cooney Lees Morgan Tauranga Boys' College 37, New World Te Puke 25, Eves Realty Greerton 20,.Bayleys Central Indians 14.

Baywide Cup Leaderboard
Batting (Runs) 152 Ben Musgrave (Mount Maunganui), 111 Tim Clarke (Tauranga Boys' College), 100 Alex Gooding (Te Puke)
Bowling (Wickets) 8 Dale Swan (Mount Maunganui), 7 Nick Smith (Mount Maunganui), 7 Gurwinder Singh (Cadets)

- Bay of Plenty Times

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