Rounds five and six of the Baywide Twenty20 Championship produced some thrilling encounters and now we have our finalists.
Defending champions Carrus Mount Maunganui booked their spot when they beat long-time rivals Element IMF Cadets in round six yesterday afternoon.
After sitting out the round five bye in the morning, the Mount side struggled with the opposition bowling on what turned out to be a bowlers' paradise, being removed for just 56. Dan Smith was the only Mount Maunganui batsman to reach the 20s. Cadets captain Jono Boult took aim with his off-breaks to claim five wickets for 22 runs while Kamal Bains and Jacob Logan took two cheap wickets each.
Cadets were then bowled out for 46, with the second ball of the eighteenth over, as the Mount Maunganui bowlers successfully defended what looked to be a very modest total. The Cadets' top score of 14 showed the dominance of the Mount's slow bowlers. Craig Baldry, who joined Mount Maunganui from Tauranga Boys' College at the start of the season, weaved his magic with the ball to take five wickets at a cost of just 10 runs.
Mount Maunganui will take on Eves Realty Greerton in the title decider next weekend. The Pemberton Park based side were never troubled in their two games at the Fergusson Park in Tauranga, winning both with seven wickets to spare.
In round five Greerton beat GM Painters Lake Taupō CC, bowling them out for just 75. Taupō skipper Hashim Malik top scored with 24, while Lee Watkins and Dan Spencer took three wicket hauls. The current Baywide and Williams Cup title holders cruised home, with new club recruit Henry Collier there at the end with an unbeaten 60 runs.
Bayleys Central Indians batted first in their round six encounter with Greerton and posted a respectable target of 121/8. First innings honours belonged to Lovely Sidhu with 33 runs and Josh Ormrod and Henry Collier with three wickets apiece. Shaun McCarthy anchored the Greerton victory with an unbeaten 33, while Lee Watkins and Pip Thickpenny also made useful contributions.
The final round of qualifying play on Saturday, January 19 will be the entrée to the T20 title decider. The Cadets' last round bye ensures that Mount Maunganui and Greerton have already banked enough points to meet in the final.
Bay of Plenty Cricket Baywide Twenty20
Saturday at Fergusson Park
Bayleys Central Indians 174/5 (A Bennett 55, B Sandford 54; T Pringle 3/15) beat Bond & Co Tauranga Boys' College 122/6 (T Clarke 41no, N Dovey 27)
GM Painters Lake Taupō CC 75 (H Malik 24; L Watkins 3/14, D Spencer 3/15, J Tutty 2/7) lost to Eves Realty Greerton 81/3 (H Collier 60no)
Element IMF Cadets beat New World Te Puke
Carrus Mount Maunganui 56 (D Smith 22; J Boult 5/22, K Bains 2/4, J Logan 2/8) beat Element IMF Cadets 46 (C Baldry 5/10, T Goodin 2/8)
Bayleys Central Indians 121/8 (L Sidhu 33. J Rowe 22; J Ormrod 3/22, H Collier 3/25) lost to Eves Realty Greerton 122/3 (S McCarthy 33no, L Watkins 27, P Thickpenny 23; S Nichols 2/25)
New World Te Puke 195/5 (D Price 74no, T Bridgman-Raison 43, S Crossan 29; M Rivers 2/31) beat GM Painters Lake Taupō CC 107/7 (EW Williams 43no; I Singh 4/25)
Greerton 27, Mount Maunganui 24, Cadets 18, Lake Taupo CC 12, Central Indians 12, Te Puke 9, Tauranga Boys College 6.
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