Cricket: Boys out to defend title as T20 returns

There will be plenty of cricket action in Rotorua tomorrow with the return of the Baywide Lone Star Twenty20 (T20) competition for the first time this season.

The Baywide T20 competition was introduced last year, with the competition played whenever the Bay of Plenty representative team is involved in two-day Fergus Hickey Rosebowl matches.

This weekend Bay of Plenty play Northland at the Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui.

Last season, Tauranga Boys' College became the third premier team to win Baywide cricket silverware, when they beat Rotorua Central in the final of the inaugural Lone Star T20 championship.

Batting first, Tauranga Boys' posted a defendable target when they reached 163/5 at the end of their 20 overs. Tauranga Boys' mentors Mark Orchard (47) and Charles Williams (39) anchored their side's innings, with Tom MacRury (29) also making a useful contribution. Ben Watkinson took three wickets for the Rotorua side.

The Central turn at bat was punctuated by the coming and going of their batsmen to the crease, as they were dismissed for just 68. Peter Wood was a shining beacon at one end, with the Central skipper finishing with 42 to his name.

Tauranga Boys' young bowlers were in rampant form with Henry Conway leading the way with four wickets. Tom McRury finished with 3/33 while Tom Clout took two wickets at a cost of just 12 runs.

Two of the young heroes of Tauranga Boys' T20 championship victory, Tom MacRury and Henry Conway, will be in action tomorrow when Tauranga Boys start their title defence.

They will square-off against Baywide heavyweight Element IMF Cadets in their first encounter in the Sulphur City, before facing another stern challenge against Mount Maunganui in round two.

Rotorua Central, who can trace their origins back many decades, will relish playing their two T20 encounters on familiar territory at Smallbone and Boord parks. Central meet Mount Maunganui in their early game, before backing up in a Rotorua derby with BOP Indians in round two.

The surprise package this season could be East Bay United. They have made a grand start to the Baywide Cup winning their last two encounters. Even without Tom Yates, who is on Bay of Plenty representative duty, the side has a strong batting and bowling line-up that could trouble other contenders.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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