Cricket: Central top-order leads the way

By Greg Taipari

Central have kept their unbeaten record over the Bay of Plenty Indians thanks to two half-centuries by Peter Woods and Cameron Payne.

The top-order batsman were in scintillating form in oven-like temperatures at Smallbone Park at the weekend.

In temperatures which reached into the 30s, Central were asked to bat first after losing the toss.

The Central batsmen went about their task with vigour and looked to have the reading of the pitch and the Indian bowlers.

Woods, who has been showing some nice form with the bat this season, led by example - the captain top-scored with a well-struck 54. Payne was equally impressive, compiling a solid innings of 53.

The pair were helped by fellow top-order batsman Kane Spiers who chipped in with a quickfire 23.

If Central were guilty of one thing it was not accelerating the innings. At one point the side were 174/3 in the 45th over and looked on track to score in the region of 270. But to the credit of the Indian team, who never gave up, and their bowling attack, who kept chipping away, they managed to restrict the side to 229 all out in the 47th over.

Prashant Dhanjee and Ajit Shetty were the best of the bowlers, both with 3/30, and Charoan Bariar contributed with 2/40.

In the past, the Indians have been known to flounder when chasing a total, but although they lost a couple of quick wickets, at one stage late in the innings a 62-run partnership between Charan Bariar and Jayvant Danjee made the side look likely of chasing down the target.

But when Bariar was adjudged lbw to a ball looking like it was going down leg, it was the beginning of the end and the side were eventually bowled out for 177.

Top-scorers for the Indians were Bharat Popli with 70 not out, Bariar with 21, and Dhanjee with 24.

Meanwhile, in the other rounds of the Williams Cup, Greerton set an impressive target of 312/5 against Mount Maunganui with Brett Hampton striking a majestic 125. He was joined in the runs column by Cameron Neal (62), Elliott Timoti (52) and Suhkdeep Sidu (31). The Mount's best bowler was Brian Jurisich with 2/59.

The Mount had little answer to Greerton's slogfest and were bundled out for just 88. The Mount's wickets were shared among Campbell Thomas (4/24), Murray Jarvis (2/4), Hampton (2/21) and Sidu (2/39).

Cadets were too strong for Tauranga Boys' College. Batting first, Cadets compiled 221, Ben Christensen top-scoring with a beautifully struck 107. He was joined by Josh Evemy who got a solid start, hitting 23.

The best of the bowlers for Tauranga were Henry Conway, who grabbed five wickets, and Mark Orchard, helping out with 2/43.

Tauranga could muster only 138 in their run chase, with Alex Oakley top-scoring with 43, backed up by Tom MacRury (34) and Gareth Wallace (21).

Cadets' bowler Sean Davey was unplayable, snaring three wickets for no runs in his spell. Ben Christensen picked up 3/31 and Scott Steward 2/42.

East Bay United's target of 110 was never going to be enough against a fired-up Te Puke side. Dean Butterworth was the best of the United batsmen scoring 28, with Stephen Ford (25) and Alex Yates (23) the only other two batsmen to get a start. United were troubled by some tight bowling from Mitch McCann (2/14), Josh Dwight (2/28) and Luke Erikson (2/28).

Te Puke managed to run down the total, scoring 112/7 with McCann top-scoring with 23. Ford was the best of the United bowlers with 3/30.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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