Cricket: Sides push for semifinals

Potential semifinalists have emerged in the Williams Cup with two rounds remaining of the Baywide competition.

Te Puke and Cadets held on to their unbeaten records, with Mt Maunganui and Greerton cementing their place in the top four.

Batting first at the Te Puke Domain against Rotorua Central, the home side set a very defendable target when they were dismissed for 207. Associate coach Charles Williams led the way with a solid 57, with Steven Crossan (40) and skipper Tai Bridgeman-Raison (32) both getting good starts. Bay Development bowler Ben Blackett grabbed a five-wicket bag.

The visitors made a good start in their pursuit of victory, with Ben Blackett backing up his bowling performance to top score with a crisp 48. Jeremy Bates was in fine touch with the ball returning 3/34, while Sean Gibson and Josh Dwight took two wickets apiece as Te Puke cruised to a 44-run victory.

In spite of an unbeaten knock of 77 from Tauranga Boys' College coach Mark Orchard, the visitors to Blake Park struggled against the Mount Maunganui bowling attack. However, two rearguard partnerships that featured Orchard with James Boyd and then Tom Wakelin, produced 66 runs, as the students reached a respectable 157 all out.

The Mount Maunganui batsmen ripped into action and were quickly ahead of the required run rate, with Mark Divehall smashing the ball all around Blake Park, to be rewarded with a sparkling 74. Ben Guild took his team to a six-wicket victory, posting an unbeaten 38, as Mount Maunganui cemented third-equal place in the Williams Cup title race

Element IMF Cadets had an early finish at Smallbone Park in Rotorua, as they maintained their 2013 unbeaten cup run. BOP Indians spent little time at the batting crease being removed for just 89, with the Cadets wickets being shared around. Cadets opening batsmen Ben Jensen immediately went on the attack, taking his team to victory with a quick-fire 77 not out

Defending Williams Cup champions Eves Realty Greerton, got their title defence back on track when they beat East Bay United in Whakatane. The visitors batted first and posted 225 all out, with Cameron Neal hitting 78. Joel Mathews grabbed a five-wicket bag with Eastern Bay stalwart Steven Ford taking three wickets for 11 runs off his 10 overs.

A concentrated Greerton bowling attack paid dividends as the home side was removed for 142. Mike Young top-scored with 29, with Greerton skipper Shane Wineti backing up his half century with three wickets.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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