Cricket: Peter Wood leads from the front

By Greg Taipari

The Baywide Cup may be out of reach but Central captain Peter Wood said his team are still upbeat about the season.

With two rounds left in the Baywide Cricket Cup's first-past-the-post competition and no chance of Central or Bay of Plenty Indians securing the trophy, both captains remain confident they have the players to have a decent crack this year.

Wood has been in stellar form with the bat so far this season despite his side not getting the results on the board.

"We have a real good team environment, a few of the boys have been with the team for a while now and we sort of know each others' skills and what they bring to the team. It's been a little frustrating we haven't gotten the results we wanted, but we definitely have shown glimpses and I'm confident we can turn things around."

The side travel to Whakatane's Rex Morpeth Park tomorrow to take on East Bay United in what is sure to be a titanic battle. United, currently with 51 points, sit fourth on the table behind Mount Maunganui, Cadets and Greerton, with the two Rotorua teams taking up the two bottom places on the table (Central 42, Indians 39).

United will go into the match as slight favourites but Central have the talent to make things difficult for the home side.

It's first place versus last when the Indians host the Mount at Smallbone Park tomorrow. The Mount should have little trouble securing the win, but Indians' captain Sanjay Unka said he was proud of the effort his team had put in, especially last weekend when several reserve grade players were called up due to player unavailability

"It was a bit of a challenge for them but they stepped up and a couple of them scored some runs. It's been a good opportunity for them and it will only make them better."

In the other matches in the round, there is likely to be no quarter asked or given, when Greerton play Element IMF Cadets at Greerton headquarters.

Greerton master blaster Brett Hampton will relish the opportunity to belt the Cadets bowlers all over Pemberton Park. In his sole Baywide Cup game this season he smashed 148 against the Indians as his side reached 357/7 declared.

Cadets don't lack for firepower with the bat, with New Zealand under-19 player Joe Carter also in sublime form. On the same afternoon Hampton posted his century, Carter carried his bat to an unbeaten 131 against Te Puke. Another Cadets batsmen in fine form is Josh Evemy, who has a strike rate of more than two runs per ball.

Both teams also have firepower with the ball. Greerton quick Tommy Clout leads the Baywide bowling figures with 10 wickets, while Cadets skipper Jono Boult recently grabbed a six-wicket bag for the Bay of Plenty representative team.

Meanwhile Tauranga Boys College will host Te Puke at Nicholson Field tomorrow.

All games get underway at 12.30pm.

Baywide Cup draw: Eves Realty Greerton v Element IMF Cadets, Pemberton Park; Tauranga Boys College v Te Puke, Nicholson Field; East Bay United v Central, Rex Morepeth Park; BOP Indians v Mount Maunganui, Smallbone Park.

Points Table: Mount Maunganui 61, Element IMF Cadets 59, Greerton 56, East Bay United 51, Te Puke 48, Tauranga Boys College 45, Central 42, BOP Indians 39.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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