Cricket: Orchard finds rich pickings

A encounter that went down to the penultimate ball and the unexpected return to Baywide club cricket of Northern Knight Graeme Aldridge highlighted the Williams Cup clash between Tauranga Boys' College and East Bay United on Saturday.

Tauranga Boys' batted first on their home ground at Nicholson Field, with mentor Mark Orchard in sublime touch. He blasted 91 as his side were dismissed for 227.

Tauranga Boys' keeper Alex Oakley also made a solid contribution with 52 runs. The best of the Eastern Bay side bowling attack was Joel Mathews, who finished with figures of four wickets for 41 runs.

While the East Bay batsmen kept up with the required run rate, they were also losing regular wickets. Enter Aldridge, who shifted to the Eastern Bay of Plenty to live a few months ago. Needing 26 runs to win in the last three overs, Aldridge took secured the victory with the second-to-last ball of the match, to finish with an unbeaten 66.

Pip Thickpenny (57) and Hugh Adim (45) both made useful contributions to the East Bay United total, while promising Tauranga Boys' bowler Henry Conway grabbed four wickets.

Former Baywide heavyweight Te Puke comprehensively outclassed defending Williams Cup titleholders Greerton at Pemberton Park.

A second-wicket partnership of 174, between Mitch McCann and Ben Williams, took the game away from Greerton. McCann smashed 124 while Williams played a solid supporting role to post 66, as their team reached 245/6 in 50 overs.

While Cameron Neal was defiant at one end and was rewarded with his side's top score of 46, the other Greerton batsmen were troubled by the Te Puke bowling attack as the home side were removed for 153 to hand the visitors an easy victory.

McCann and Williams showed that they are genuine allrounders, taking three wickets apiece with Josh Dwight returning 2/31.

A titanic opening partnership of 168, by Mt Maunganui's Peter Drysdale and Tim Clarke, set up the Mount victory against BOP Indians at Blake Park. Drysdale posted his second century of the season with an unbeaten 124, with Clarke falling on 96, as the Mount finished at 296/3. When the Rotorua side's star batsman Bharat Popli was removed for 37, the writing was on the wall, with the Indian side dismissed for 104.

Cadets joined Te Puke at the top of the points standings when they defeated Central at Smallbone Park in Rotorua. Bay of Plenty representative skipper Jono Boult, grabbed four wickets as the Rotorua side were removed for 117, then posted his side's top score of 46 as Cadets got home with five wickets in hand. Bay of Plenty Cricket, January 19

- Rotorua Daily Post

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