Cricket: Christensen ton all to no avail

In spite of three of the top four in the Williams Cup title race suffering defeats in the penultimate round of the Baywide championship, the standings remained the same with Te Puke, Cadets, Mount Maunganui and Greerton likely to advance to the playoffs.

On Saturday, the expected battle of attrition at the Tauranga Domain, between Element IMF Cadets and Mount Maunganui, wasn't decided until late in the afternoon. Cadets posted 208/7 led by a defiant knock from Ben Christensen who smashed his way to 116, with James Birchall chipping in with a handy 27. When Christensen was out, he had scored 116 out of the team total of 187.

Mount Maunganui were behind the run chase for much of their turn at bat and at 145/5 had plenty of work to do. But Ben Guild was in fine touch and was rewarded with his side's top score of 75. The visitors were again in trouble with just two wickets remaining, however a 26-run partnership between Dale Swan and Mike Jones took their team to victory.

Competition leaders Te Puke suffered their first loss of the Baywide competition, when Tauranga Boys' College mentor Mark Orchard scored an outstanding century to see his side home to an easy seven-wicket win. Te Puke set the Tauranga Boys' a target of a neat 200 after they reached 199/9, with Orchard and Keaton Taylor doing the damage with the ball taking three wickets each.

Orchard, who opened the innings, took the game by the scruff of the neck to smash the ball to all corners of the Te Puke Domain, and he finished unbeaten on 121, with Gareth Wallace adding 29 to his side's total.

Bay of Plenty Indians posted their first win of the Williams Cup in style against East Bay United. The Rotorua team reached 289/9 with Shyam Bhimjiyani (96) and Prashant Dhanjee (92) providing the bulk of the runs. The home side then removed East Bay United for 149, with Dhanjee grabbing a five-wicket bag for a memorable match double as his side cruised to victory.

Eves Realty Greerton, who are the Williams Cup titleholders, came up a handful of runs short in a relatively high scoring encounter with Central at Pemberton Park. The visitors posted 239 with Bay representative Julian Danby top scoring with 74. Greerton were behind the required run rate early and couldn't make up the deficit, and despite having three wickets in hand at the end, they ended up 13 runs short of taking the points on offer.

Bay of Plenty Cricket results, Williams Cup: Te Puke 199/9 (Thomas Wansbone 41, Sean Gibson 40; Mark Orchard 3/32, Keaton Taylor 3/38) lost to Tauranga Boys' College 202/3 (M Orchard 119no, Gareth Wallace 27) Central 239 (Julian Danby 74, Jarred Christoffersen 38, Ben Blackett 34; Dan Spencer 3/16, Scott Drabble 3/52) defeated Eves Realty Greerton 226/8 (Cameron Neal 80, Matt Earl 35; Andrew Gibbs 3/43, B Blackett 3/71) Element IMF Cadets 208/7 (Ben Christensen 116, James Birchall 27; Dale Swan 2/28, Mike Jones 2/52) lost to Mount Maunganui 209/8 (Ben Guild 75, Alex Gooding 32) BOP Indians 289/9 (Shyam Bhimjiyani 96, Prashant Dhanjee 92) defeated East Bay United 149 (P Dhanjee 5/38) Williams Cup Points table: Te Puke 35, Cadets 33, Mount Maunganui 29, Greerton 23, East Bay United 17, Central 17, Tauranga Boys' College 17, Indians 10.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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