Eastern Suburbs retain Pearce Cup 

Eastern Suburbs CC 311 (Khan 95, Georgeson 39, Hartshorn 4-74) and 62-2 (Dean 27, Johns 20*, King 1-4) beat Karori CC 200 (Roche 84, Blundell 33, Gibson 4-37) and 170 (Hartshorn 76, Sole 20, Gibson 3-37) by 8 wickets at the Basin Reserve in Wellington

El Cheapo Cars Eastern Suburbs retained the Pearce Cup with an eight-wicket victory Karori in the final played at the Basin Reserve last weekend.

Scorecard

Qualifying second by just 0.01 of a point ahead of Hutt Districts, Easts had to win the three-day decider outright to take the Cup, while table-topping Karori only needed a draw to secure the cup for a second time after winning it in 2011.

Batting first in sunny conditions, Karori were dismissed for an even 200 on the first day with 19-year-old opener Liam Roche making a fine 84.

Tom Blundell and skipper Peter Younghusband both got good starts but could not kick on after Karori were 99-2 at one stage.

Easts’ well-performed all-rounder Jamie Gibson took four wickets, while former Wellington Firebird Ili Tugaga took three.

East’s batting depth was on display in their reply of 311, with five batsmen going past 30, but only one reaching 40.  That was Jimad Khan who hit 10 fours and two sixes before being last out in the 100th over, narrowly missing his century.

Right-arm opening bowler James Hartshorn and former Auckland Aces’ Jono Sole both took four wickets for Karori.

Over 100 runs behind, the top-qualifiers had reached 93-3 by stumps, losing night-watchman James Hartshorn late.

Needing to bat well on the final day, Karori’s middle order was well contained by the Easts attack.  In blazing sunshine, they lost three wickets early before being dismissed for a disappointing 170.

Roche, Zimbabwe’s 2018 U19 World Cup captain, was again to the fore, hitting 12 fours in making another commanding half-century, but he received little support.

Gibson took three wickets, with two apiece going to Tugaga, Connell and Easts’ skipper Lance Dry, one of which was a smart stumping off the leg-spinner by Lauchie Johns to get rid of the dangerous Michael Pollard.

Needing 59 in plenty of time, Easts’ top order made short work of the chase with the winning runs coming in just the tenth over.

Lance Dry was then able to hold up the Pearce Cup as victorious captain for the 16th time in 18 seasons, as the Kilbirnie-based club added another chapter to their remarkable story of success.

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