Cricket: T20 test for unbeaten students

By Barry Leabourn

The Williams Cup takes a break this Saturday, with the Lone Star Twenty20 competition resuming in Rotorua and Mount Maunganui.

Defending T20 titleholders Tauranga Boys' College lead at the halfway stage of the competition, with an unbeaten record, albeit with a tie against Element IMF Cadets, with Eves Realty Greerton and Cadets snapping at their heels.

The game to watch in round five takes place between leaders Tauranga Boys' and Greerton, who have had a solitary loss to Central.

The key to the Tauranga Boys' performance is always player/coach Mark Orchard, and the former ND all-rounder has been in fine form with the bat in the Williams Cup, blasting 329 runs since Baywide cricket resumed in January.

Much of Greerton's strength this season has come from a trio of Bay Development team players, who have struck form with bat and ball.

Cameron Neal, Campbell Thomas and Elliot Timoti, who are all recent graduates of the Tauranga Boys' College cricket programme, will give their former school a run for the win points on offer.

Cadets, who have also posted an unbeaten record, courtesy of two wins and two tied results, should prove too strong for BOP Indians. Te Puke have returned to the form that saw them become Baywide heavyweights a few years ago and will be favoured to beat Central, with cellar-dweller East Bay United facing a challenge to defeat Mount Maunganui at Mount's Blake Park.

Greerton could have a tough day at the office in Rotorua. After playing the defending champions in the early afternoon encounter, they must back up against arch-rivals Cadets in round six. The match-up between Te Puke and Mount Maunganui could go down to the wire, BOP Indians are on home turf when they meet Tauranga Boys', with Central and East Bay United likely to be involved in a battle of attrition.

BOPCA Lone Star Premier Twenty20 - Round 5 & 6 draw, February 16

Round Five: Element IMF Cadets v BOP Indians, Boord 1; Te Puke v Central, Blake 2; East Bay United v Mount Maunganui, Blake 1; Tauranga Boys College v Eves Realty Greerton, Boord 3.

Round Six: Central v East Bay United, Blake 1; BOP Indians v Tauranga Boys College, Boord 1; Eves Realty Greerton v Element IMF Cadets, Boord 2; Mount Maunganui v Te Puke, Blake 2. Well-performed

- Bay of Plenty Times

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