Bayleys Central Indians made their intentions clear when they destroyed defending Williams Cup title holders Eves Realty Greerton by 131 runs.
Greerton won the toss at Pemberton Park on Saturday, and asked the Rotorua visitors to bat first. They reached 55 runs before opener Cam Ingram was dismissed for 24. Stephen Nicholls, who blasted a century last weekend, was in fine form again, top scoring with 71. The Rotorua combined side were in a solid position of 142 for the loss of four wickets, when Nicholls was removed.
Batting at six, Aaron Bennett added an extremely useful 30 and, with the side's tail adding nearly 40 runs, they posted 234/9. Dan Spencer and Josh Bates were the best of the Greerton bowlers with three wickets each.
The Central Indian bowlers never let the current Williams Cup champions settle in. At 5/62, the hosts were in real trouble which became even worse at 7/69. Batting just 10 batsmen due to injury, the hosts were removed for 103 to hand Central Indians an impressive victory. Skipper Stephen Nicholls took three wickets for 16 runs with Swayam Kaul also claiming a three-wicket bag.
Two centuries at the Tauranga Domain were the highlights in the clash between long-time rivals Element IMF Cadets and New World Te Puke.
Te Puke batted first and Blair McKenzie posted his first premier century for the club, scoring 121 runs off 153 balls, which included six fours and six sixes.
Te Puke set Cadets a big target when they finished their innings at 231 for the loss
of nine wickets. Kamal Bains, Jacob Logan and Marcel Collett took two wickets each.
Cadets made a good start before the Te Puke bowlers hit their stride. Enter Black Cap Trent Boult, who joined Cadets while at Otumoetai College, batting at seven. Answering a call to duty, Boult blasted his third Cadets premier century, to finish on 110 not out, helping the home to a win with one wicket to spare.
Carrus Mount Maunganui joined Cadets and Central Indians at the top of the leaderboard after coasting to a 10 wicket win against GM Painters Lake Taupō CC. Taupō were bowled out for 162 and Mount Maunganui got home without losing a wicket.
Mount stalwart Peter Drysdale top scored with an unbeaten 84, while Matt Golding finished on 54 not out.
Williams Cup Results - February 9
New Te Puke 231/9 (B McKenzie 121, M Leef 27, H Wilde 25, T Bridgman-Raison 21; K Bains 2/27, J Logan 2/28, M Collett 2/44) lost to Element IMF Cadets 232/9 (T Boult 110no).
Bayleys Central Indians 234/9 (S Nicholls 71, A Bennett 30, C Ingram 24; D Spencer 3/27, J Bates 3/50) beat Eves Realty Greerton103/9 (T Renouf 25; S Nicholls 3/16, S Kaul 3/29).
GM Painters Lake Taupō CC 162 lost to Carrus Mount Maunganui 164/0 (P Drysdale 84no, M Golding 54no).
Bond & Co Tauranga Boys' College the bye.
Mount Maunganui 12, Cadets 12, Central Indians 12, Te Puke 0, Tauranga Boys College 0, Lake Taupo CC 0, Greerton 0.
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