Mid afternoon rain meant that most games in the Pearce Cup and Hazlett Trophy only got to tea on the first day of the first round on Saturday. Most games got through at least one innings but any chance for sides to try and gain the upper hand were dashed and chances of results on day 2 are unlikely though there is a lot of cricket still to be played.
At Kilbirnie Park Eastern Suburbs were skittled out for 151. Ben Orton and Jeremy Dean got the side off to a great start scoring 91 for the first wicket but then Johnsonville managed to fight back take 10 wickets for just 60 runs. Sam Outtrim picking up 4/25. Vishi Jeet, Rob Sayer and Scott Edgecombe all picking up 2 a piece. In reply Johnsonville managed to get to 64/3 losing a couple of quick wickets just before the rain came. Rakitha Weerasundara is there looking solid with 39. An interesting Saturday ahead to see if Johnsonville can maybe upset Easts and have a crack at taking the Cook Shield which Easts have held for the last 48 games (not having lost a 2day match outright in this time)
At Karori Park Karori took on Taita. Karori surprised a few by choosing to bat first when they won the toss and their decision wasn’t quite justified as they were quickly 138/8. They were eventually bowled out for 173. Matt Kelly was the main destroyer for Taita taking 4/55 while Mark Houghton took 3/28. Stephen Murdoch scored 44 while Jacob Bhula was a rock in the middle order ending the innings 47 not out. In reply Taita were in a bit of trouble early at 6/2 and then 19/3 but Obus Pienaar and Mark Houghton arguably the most dangerous threats for Taita are still there and have taken Taita to 57/3 when rain intervened. Early wickets will be the order of the day for Karori if they want any chance of picking up full points in this match and the current partnership could be the key.
In the final Pearce Cup match it was slow going at Hutt Rec. Hutt District taking on Upper Hutt. After the loss of two early wickets Hutt took their time in rebuilding as Troy Johnson and Dominic Brown put on 107 runs for the 3rd wicket but taking 37 overs to do it. Brown was dismissed for 43 off 105 balls while Johnson uped his scoring rate but ended the day 98 not out when the rain came. Hutt currently 169/4. The game looks set for a draw unless there is some sort of serious collapse on day 2 by both sides.
In the Hazlett Trophy the games are slightly more advanced but not by a lot. At Nairnville Onslow thought they were on top after the first innings bowling North City out for 151 on what was a decent looking wicket. Amandeep Singh the main contributor with 85. North City came out fired up though and ripped through the top order to reduce Onslow to 23/4, Hamish Kyne taking 2/5 off 7 overs. They will have been cursing their luck as the rain came and will be very keen to get back out there on Saturday and hopefully continue on the momentum they have created for themselves.
At Petone Rec only 3 Wellington Collegians batsman scored double figures in their innings but luckily they were decent scores. AJ Royfee, Nick O’Sullivan and Ben McMahon were the 3 with 62, 42 & 69 respectively. This got them to a total off 212. Kieran Butler and Dan Myers taking 3 wickets each for Petone. In reply Petone sit in a good position at 72/2 with Matt Goldsbury 39 not out. Reny Meadows taking the two wickets for Collegians.
In the final game University sit in a very good position against Naenae at Kelburn Park. University scored 336 before being bowled out. Their skipper James Boyle anchoring the innings with 94. He got a front row seat to Frascois Swartz who dispatched the bowlers to all parts of the ground with 121 off 68 balls including 11 6’s. They managed to reduce Naenae to 13/3 before the rain came and will be keen to continue their good bowling when they get back to Kelburn Park on Saturday in the hope that they will get a chance to bowl Naenae out before they reach the follow on and push for an outright victory.