Cricket: Earl heroics barely believable

The penultimate rounds of the Lone Star T20 played on Saturday produced a last-ball victory by Mount Maunganui against Te Puke and a magnificent six-wicket haul by Eves Realty Greerton bowler Mathew Earl.

While Mount Maunganui won both their encounters at Blake Park, the late afternoon match-up against archrivals Te Puke was a thriller, with the game going down to the last ball. Te Puke batted with opener Steven Crossan top-scoring with 41 as they reached 139/9. Veteran Mount bowler Steve Charman was in fine form, grabbing three wickets for 16.

The Mount reply was in immediate trouble, with the first three wickets falling with just 11 runs on the board. At 40/5, the home side were still in real bother before skipper Mark Divehall entered the equation. The usual opening batsmen batted down the order and anchored his team with an unbeaten 56. Mount Maunganui needed 12 runs in the last over for victory and Divehall edged the ball for a four in the last play of the game, to take his side to a narrow two wicket win.

A remarkable bowling performance from Earl took his side to a 133-run win against competition leaders Tauranga Boys' College, in an early afternoon match-up. Greerton were in a strong position when they posted 177/5. However, few could imagine the mayhem that Earl would deliver when Tauranga Boys' went out to bat.

Earl took out the top four and also grabbed two of their middle order, to finish with a remarkable six wickets at the cost of a solitary run as the students were rolled for 44.

Element IMF Cadets moved to the top of the table with two victories against BOP Indians and Greerton, while Mount Maunganui and Central also moved up the standings with two victories each.

Bay of Plenty Cricket results, February 16:

Lone Star Twenty20 Round Five

East Bay United 97 (Mike Young 24) lost to Mount Maunganui 98/2 (Alex Gooding 40no, Joel Thompson 37)

Central 145/7 (Julian Danby 59, Cayde Thompson 26, Ben Blackett 24; Matt Dwight 2/19, Thomas Wansbone 2/39) defeated Te Puke 123 (Jared Carter 33, T Wansbone 31; B Blackett 3/21)

Eves Realty Greerton 177/5 Suhkdeep Sidhu 62, Richie Earl 25no, Shane Wineti 25no, Kent Hodder 23; Mandeep Kumar 2/20, Keaton Taylor 2/320 defeated Tauranga Boys' College 44 (Mathew Earl 6/1)

Element IMF Cadets 218/3 (Ben Jensen 57, Scott Steward 50, James Birchall 36no, Ben Christensen 32no) defeated BOP Indians 106 (S Steward 2/12, B Christensen 2/20)

- Bay of Plenty Times

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