Cricket: Bethlehem and Trident book final showdown

Bethlehem College blasted their way into the final of the WBOPCA First XI championship final, when they defeated Otumoetai College in their semifinal at home.

After winning the Saturday toss, Bethlehem elected to bat and were 64/2 when Bede Murray and Matt Cole came together. Cole took to the Otumoetai bowling attack with real enthusiasm, smashing 124 off just 68 balls while Murray was no less dominant at the other end, blasting 83.

Batting down the order Chase Raleigh also threw caution to the wind, smashing a quick-fire 34 off just 15 deliveries, as the home team went on to post a massive 339/9. While Otumoetai made a valiant attempt for victory, the large target proved too much and they were restricted to 229/8, to hand Bethlehem College a berth in the title decider.

By contrast, the second semifinal played out in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, saw Trident High School win a battle of attrition before securing their place in the final.

The Eastern Bay team batted first and posted a gettable target for Katikati College, when Trident were removed for 174. Hamish Wilde played a big part in his side's innings, top scoring with 89 runs.

However, line and length bowling from the Trident bowlers, restricted the visitors' ability to hit out and they were limited to 154/7. Tom Casey, who leads the XI competition bowling stakes with 13 wickets took 3/23, with Bay Development team all-rounder Pip Thickpenny grabbing two wickets.

Bethlehem College will host Trident High School on Saturday for the right to hold aloft the WBOPCA First XI trophy aloft in triumph.

WBOPCA Secondary School 1st XI semifinal: Bethlehem College 339/9 (Matt Cole 124, Bede Murray 83, Chase Raleigh 34) defeated Otumoetai College 229/8 (Louis Morris 51, Nathan McDonald 42, Tim Erikson 40); Trident High School 174 (Hamish Wilde 89) defeated Katikati College 154/7 (Tom Casey 3/23, Pip Thickpenny 2/20).

- Rotorua Daily Post

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