Cricket: Miller's hot pace bowls City

By Peter Thorley

The only real contest to emerge from the second day's play in the opening round of the Northland premier club cricket competition was decided by a wicked spell of bowling by Maungakaramea's Aiden Miller.

City trailed after the first day's play but they picked up two early wickets to get some traction in the contest.

Maungakaramea still had the upper hand chasing City's modest total of 215 at 167 for 5 and when Scott Harris (30) joined captain Neal Parlane (44) at the crease, the pair combined to take the side past City's total for first innings points.

Extra batting points were soon out of the question, however, as Keiron Neilson fought back to take 4-46 and clean up the tail and bowl Maungakaramea out for 246 - a lead of just 31.

City's openers negotiated the six overs through to lunch to give them some confidence of some afternoon batting practice but when Jaime Morgan flashed at a wide delivery from Cody Andrews (2-21) just after the break Neal Parlane took a smart catch at gully to give his side a glimmer of hope.

After a lengthy rain delay Andrews then had Sam Cloutman dismissed lbw, bringing together City captain Ian Page and first innings centurion Harry Darkins.

Parlane turned to teenage Northland seamer Kurtley Watson (2-5), who struck immediately to remove Page lbw. In what proved to be a masterstroke, the skipper then brought Miller on and the young pace bowler bamboozled City's batsmen to bowl them all out for 92.

Miller's figures of 6-32 off 13.2 overs were even more remarkable for the fact that he bowled all his overs in one spell and had to run through what resembled a swamp to get to the bowling crease.

This left Maungakaramea 61 to win off 14 overs. Young Northland allrounder Joseph O'Sullivan (27no) calmly guided his side through to the required total with just three balls to spare.

Kaipara Flats turned up requiring seven wickets for victory against Onerahi Central and with a weather forecast not suggesting a long day's play, the pressure was on Kaipara to force the win. Onerahi still needed to score a further 104 to force Kaipara to bat again, but they didn't get the start they were hoping for.

Kevin Forde had Tom Herman caught behind off the third ball of the morning and Craig Russell was bowled the very next ball. Brad Kneebone hung tough, showing some resistance, and when the first showers forced them off the field it looked as though he may have done enough to halt the Kaipara victory.

When play resumed, Kaipara got the final two wickets they required, with Brad Kneebone the final wicket to fall for 64. He was dismissed by Forde, to becoming his seventh victim, with Kaipara winning by an innings and 24 runs.

The Zest Insurance WBHS First XI secured a winning start to the competition with an innings and 15-run victory against a Kamo team that struggled with the bat.

After a dismal batting effort on day one, where Kamo were bowled out for 37, their second innings showed little improvement and they were bundled out for 93 on Saturday. Nick Stobart was the pick of the WBHS bowlers and his 5 for 41 off 13 overs was just reward for his accuracy and persistence. Kamo's batsmen had little answer for Stobart's outswinging seamers.

Fletcher Coutts, John Child, Ben Smith and wicket keeper Max Davis, were all in great form behind the stumps and six of Kamo's second innings wickets fell by way of edges. Max Trimble finished with match figures of 9 for 39 and Stobart finished with an accomplished 8 for 53.

- Northern Advocate

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