Karori Park hosted both CricHQ T20 Cup semi-finals on a blustery Sunday afternoon with Karori and Eastern Suburbs emerging as this year’s finalists.
Karori’s path to the final was paved by Tom Blundell, enjoying his time back playing club cricket. Blundell’s 52 led his side to 129 as some tight Onslow bowling restricted the scoring and saw the home team dismissed inside their 20 overs. Onslow’s seamers bowled well with Daniel Rose leading the way, taking 3 for 24.
On the other side, Karori’s slow bowlers were the key to their defence as Peter Younghusband and Daniel Pile each took three wickets. Although Wellington A batsman Andrew Fletcher hit 55, he found no support from his teammates and Onslow were bowled out for 99.
In the other semi-final, Easts bounced back from a wicket in the first over with a second-wicket stand of 152 between Jeremy Dean and Fraser Colson. While Dean’s 57 off 49 balls anchored the innings, Colson went on the attack at the other end, hitting seven 4s and six 6s in his 90 off 47. Tight bowling in the final few overs from Taita’s Logan van Beek and Henry Walsh helped keep the score down after Deans and Colson fell in consecutive overs, but 184 was always going to be a formidable target.
So it proved, as Easts bowling effort saw seven bowlers used with each registering at least one wicket. BLACKCAPS’ U19 rep, Luke Georgeson, was the pick of them, claiming 4 for 33 off his four overs. As they did with the ball, the pairing of van Beek (30) and Walsh (28) gave Taita some hope, putting on 57 for the fourth wicket. In the 13th over, Georgeson combined with the hands of Colson to send both batsmen back, before Taita were eventually bowled out for 124.
The results mean that Karori and Easts will contest the final for this season’s CricHQ T20 Cup at the Basin Reserve this Wednesday. With the Wellington Firebirds’ Plunket Shield campaign re-starting on Thursday at Hagley Oval, both sides face the prospect of being without their representative stars. The match, however, will likely provide an exciting opportunity to watch Jakob Bhula and Luke Georgeson face off after their World Cup appearances earlier this year.
The final of the CricHQ T20 Cup is scheduled for 4.30pm at the Basin Reserve this Wednesday, 28th February.
The rain date, should it be required, is Tuesday, 6th March.