Easts off to Winning Start at National Club Champs

Eastern Suburbs have made a winning start to their quest to winning the national club championships in Auckland. Easts sit two from two after the first games of the tournament and will be keen to continue this streak.

Eastern Suburbs (Wellington) 197/8 (Jamie Gibson 90*) DEFEATED Napier Tech Old Boys (Central Districts) 180 (Christian Leopard 101*; Ricky Joespeh 4/23) by 17 runs

An unbeaten 90 from recent Wellington first-class debutant Jamie Gibson gave Easts just enough cushion to take victory over a determined Napier Tech Old Boys. Napier’s own young gun New Zealand U19 rep Christian Leopard very nearly got his side home. Gibson’s 90 was the shining light on an Easts’ card that showed no other player was able to get past 17. Arriving at the crease in just the fourth over Gibson was able to carry his side through their 50 overs in order to make sure they set a total.

In reply the Texans looked like they might be swept aside very quickly by the experienced Wellington side but Leopard’s arrival very quickly changed any of those thoughts. In a 78 ball stay at the crease the youngster was able to clear the rope 7 times and add 9 further boundaries. His hitting at the death very nearly took Napier over the line. Leopard however simply didn’t have the support. A double strike from Easts’ veteran skipper Lance Dry completing the victory for his side.

Eastern Suburbs (Wellington) 322/8 (Fraser Colson 144, Lauchie Johns 63; Georgie Scott 3/46) DEFEATED Kaikorai (Otago) 159 (Liam Cotton 39, Josh Finnie 31; Jamie Gibson 3/13) by 163 runs.

Easts continue to make the most of their players with first-class experience as today Fraser Colson who has enjoyed a recent run of success with Wellington dug them out of a hole. Colson entered in the ninth over the three men before him all failing to reach double figures and set about rescuing Easts.

After some starts he found a willing partner in Lauchie Johns and the pair were able to build and give the Eastern Suburbs innings some real substance. Colson showed impressive hitting ability as he built his score with 15 4s and 8 6s on Cornwall #2. His 144 providing the majority of his side’s impressive total of 322/8. Ili Tugaga also adding some late flourish as he struck a 4 and two 6s to boost the total.

In reply Kaikorai looked to be going well early but eventually continued a theme for the day of chases that simply couldn’t keep momentum up. The Dunedin side’s top five all offered starts but none could kick on to play the match winning hand they needed. After the wickets of top order batsmen Liam Cotton and New Zealand U19 Captain Josh Finnie no other Kaikorai player could get past 18 and their chase fell flat as Easts turned up the bowling heat. Lance Dry rotating his bowlers well as he mixed pace with spin and refused to let Kaikorai settle. Jamie Gibson continued his solid all round form as he picked up the final three Kaikorai wickets.

Eastern Suburbs take on Manukau City today in round 3 with live scoring available on www.blackcaps.co.nz