Cricket: Cup competition goes on line

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

There is a lot on the line this weekend for Rotorua's premier cricket teams as the Baywide Cup comes to a close.

The BOP Indians Cricket Club will battle Te Puke in a bottom of the table clash to decide this season's wooden spoon.

The feature game in Rotorua will be at Smallbone Park tomorrow, where Central have a chance to move into third place with an outright win against Tauranga Boys' College.

However, Central will need to win the game without captain Peter Wood and batsman Cameron Payne who are out injured.

Wood said a deciding factor in the game would be breaking down the Tauranga Boys' top order.

"A couple of their top order batsmen have been scoring a lot of runs so trying to expose their middle order early is important."

Bowlers and proven wicket-takers Ben Watkinson and Andrew Gibbs will have an opportunity to do damage with the ball.

The home side lost to Tauranga Boys' in a T20 match last weekend.

The Baywide trophy will come down to a clash between arch rivals Mount Maunganui and Element IMF Cadets.

Mount Maunganui sit clear at the top of the table, with Greerton the only team close enough to catch them.

However, for Greerton to have any chance of lifting the trophy they will rely on Cadets picking up a result.

Arch rivals Cadets and the Mount have a colourful history in recent seasons.

In last season's rain-interrupted Baywide Cup match, Mount Maunganui posted 158/9. With rain on the horizon, Cadets made short work of their target blasting 159/4 with the match finishing in the 17th over.

On another occasion, Mount Maunganui grabbed the Williams Cup round-robin game when they bowled Cadets out for a paltry 90.

However, the home side were made to fight for victory with Cadets captain Jono Boult grabbing a six-wicket bag before Mount Maunganui scrambled home with three wickets to spare.

Two players who could have a real influence on the match are Mount batsman Peter Drysdale and Cadets skipper Boult.

Drysdale leads the Baywide batting total with 316 runs, including an outstanding high score of 177 not out.

Last season, Boult shattered Graeme Aldridge's Bay of Plenty wickets in a season record, taking 33 wickets during the Bay's Fergus Hickey season.

Baywide Cup draw, games start at noon

Mount Maunganui v Element IMF Cadets, Blake1; Eves Realty Greerton v East Bay United, Pemberton Park; Central v Tauranga Boys College, Smallbone Park; Te Puke v BOP Indians, Te Puke Domain.

Points table

(15 points for an outright win and average score for a losing side is 6 points)

Mount Maunganui 79, Greerton 74, Element IMF Cadets 62, East Bay United 62, Central 60, Tauranga Boys' College 53, Te Puke 51, BOP Indians 48.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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