Element IMF Cadets and New World Te Puke will fight out the 2017 Baywide Cup title at the Tauranga Domain today.
While Cadets have won twice before, Te Puke are aiming to lift the trophy for the first time.
A very important extra incentive to win the Baywide Cup is provided by the winner going on to represent Bay of Plenty in the ND Club Championships in 2018.
Cadets led the round robin qualifying rounds without tasting defeat. By contrast, Te Puke had to engage in a winner-take-all shootout with Eves Realty Greerton last weekend, to book a spot in the final.
Led by a century from new season recruit Umesh Ranaraja, Greerton posted a solid target when they were bowled out for 241. Two knocks in the 60s, from long-serving Te Puke batsmen Stephen Crossan and Tai Bridgman-Raison, took their team to a four-wicket win.
The two leading batsmen in the Baywide Cup batting stakes could play a big part in the title decider at the Tauranga Domain. Bay of Plenty representative Joe Carter sits at the top of the batting standings with 263 runs and a high score of 137 not out. Carter has the rare distinction of having blasted a Twenty20 representative century, when he smacked an unbeaten 122 against Poverty Bay two weeks ago.
Te Puke captain Stephen Crossan sits behind Joe Carter on the batting list with 213 runs and a best of 101 not out. The Te Puke skipper has a strike rate of slightly better than a run a ball.
Cadets leader Jono Boult and Te Puke's Cam Riley occupy the top two spots in the Baywide bowling ranks. Boult, who captained the Bay of Plenty senior men's team at the recent ND one-day tournament, is an all-rounder of top class. Twelve Baywide wickets with a best of 4/21 and 73 runs batting down the order, tells the tale of a genuine match winner.
Cam Riley has a busy week, firstly representing Bay of Plenty Coastland at the annual ND Senior Secondary cricket tournament in Gisborne, before backing up on Saturday in the final. Riley has taken 11 wickets this season and will be expected to make life difficult for the Cadets batsmen.
Greerton will play Carrus Mount Maunganui at Pemberton Park, with bragging rights on the line in the battle for third place.
BOPCA Baywide Cup Finals - Saturday
Final: Element IMF Cadets v New World Te Puke, Tauranga Domain
Third Place: Eves Realty Greerton v Carrus Mount Maunganui, Pemberton Park
Baywide Cup Champions
2008/09: Mount Maunganui
2009/10: Mount Maunganui
2010/11: Mount Maunganui
2012/13: Mount Maunganui
2013/14: Mount Maunganui
2016/17: Mount Maunganui