The Rotorua-based Bayleys Central Indians have secured a major semifinal spot in the Williams Cup with an impressive win over New World Te Puke.

Batting first, at Smallbone Park yesterday, Central Indians posted a massive total. Captain Stephen Nicholls opened and promptly blasted 126 off 111 balls. The home side were firmly in control at 231 for the loss of three wickets. Lovely Sandhu continued the attack to finish with 123 runs, as they reached 334/7.

Te Puke made a strong attempt to reel in the very big target, before being bowled out for 250. Christian MacDonald backed up his three wickets with his sides top score of 81. Gareth Wallace and Blair McKenzie also made very useful contributions to their sides run chase.

Carrus Mount Maunganui secured a minor semifinal spot with a big win over Bond & Co Tauranga Boys' College at Blake Park.

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Mount Maunganui batted first and their first wicket fell with the opening ball of the game. Ben Guild and Ben Musgrave then put the home team in the box seat, putting on a partnership of 152 runs, before Musgrave fell for 62. Guild continued his side's charge for a big score, before being stumped with 97 runs to his name.

Ben Pomare and Tony Goodin also made useful contributions as Mount Maunganui posted 267 for eight wickets. Niven Dovey and James Gatenby took three wickets each for Tauranga Boys'.

Central Indians batsman Lovely Sandhu plays a shot against Te Puke. Photo / Ben Fraser
Central Indians batsman Lovely Sandhu plays a shot against Te Puke. Photo / Ben Fraser

The Mount bowlers took charge and had the Tauranga Boys' top four batsmen dismissed with 66 runs on the board. The introduction of spinner Dale Swan upped the ante, with the hosts skipper taking four wickets for just three runs as Tauranga Boys' were removed for 114, to hand the Mount a convincing 153 run win and a place in the Baywide playoffs.

Eves Realty Greerton cemented their place in the post section with an away win over GM Painters Lake Taupō CC. Batting first the visitors were removed for 224, before going on to bowl the Lake Taupō side out for 82. Individual Greerton honours belonged to Lee Watkins who top scored with 64 and Shane Wineti who took three wickets for 18 runs. Lake Taupō bowler Roger Urbahn took four wickets.

The Williams Cup playoff scenario is that Element IMF Cadets will host Central Indians at the Tauranga Domain in the major semifinal next Saturday, with the winner going straight to the grand final. Greerton will play long-time rivals Mount Maunganui at Pemberton Park, with the victor backing up against the major semifinal loser the following day, to find the second finalist.

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Williams Cup Results – Round Seven

Mount Maunganui 267/8 (B Guild 97, B Musgrave 62, T Goodin 30, B Pomare 26; N Dovey 3/44, J Gatenby 3/60) beat Tauranga Boys' College 114 (T Bettleheim 34, D Preston 22; D Swan 4/3)

Central Indians 334/7 (S Nicholls 126, L Sandhu 123, S Rana 23; I Singh 3/37, C MacDonald 3/67) beat Te Puke 250 (C MacDonald 81, G Wallace 44. B McKenzie 39)

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Greerton 224 (L Watkins 64, P Davenport 44; R Urbahn 4/41) beat Lake Taupō CC 82 (S Wineti 3/18, U Ranaraja 2/5, Pip Thickpenny 2/11)

Element IMF Cadets the bye

Points Table (Final)
Cadets 38, Central Indians 28, Greerton 28, Mount Maunganui 25, Tauranga Boys' College 16, Te Puke 10, Lake Taupo CC 10.