Howick Pakuranga (HPCC) completed a solid first innings victory over Papatoetoe in their Hedley Howarth –Top Four Premier clash at the weekend, with the game going deep into the fourth innings on Sunday.
HPCC’s Jim Allnatt said the result was a big deal for the club.
“It was a nail-biter of a match but we got first innings points and didn’t lose outright although we were 9 down and it has put us eight points clear in the premier two-day championship with one match to play against East Coast Bays next week.
“It’s still touch-and-go but, if we do it, it will be the first time since 1993-94 that we have. This in spite of having eight players in either the Aces or Black Caps so we are hoping things go right over the next two weeks.”
Papatoetoe were playing host to Howick Pakuranga in the pivotal top of the table clash, the teams also playing for the Hellaby Hunt Cup.
Donovan Grobbelaar (4-48) got the visitors off to the perfect start picking up a wicket in the first over of the day.
Papatoetoe’s batsmen all managed to get starts – Logan Clark (31) and Arminder Sohal (28) digging in under pressure from the Howick Pakuranga bowlers.
Grobbelaar was particularly destructive ripping through Pap’s middle order to leave them in trouble at 109/6.
Rutvik Botadra (2-38) Adam Jones (2-37) and James O’Callaghan (2-33) all pitched in to help roll Papatoetoe for a modest 160.
Oliver Reynolds-Pringle (1-41) struck early on to give Pap a much-needed boost.
Bhupinder Singh (3-51) was excellent for Pap, bamboozling Howick Pakuranga’s top order reducing the visitors to 65/4.
Nav Aujla (1-30) then picked up the big wicket of Grobbelaar to leave Howick Pakuranga in dire straits at 75/5.
Dale Phillips (82) stood up for his side scoring the lion’s share of the runs to ensure they secured first innings points.
With a slight first innings deficit, Pap’s batsmen went about setting up a fourth innings chase.
A half century from Logan Clark (64) and valuable, quick runs down the order from Stuart Money (47*) set up a chase of 157 for Howick Pak.
The spinners once again came to the fore for the home side, Singh (3-58) and Aujla (4-42) proving their worth and getting their side to the brink of an outright win.
However, the visitor’s tail held firm finishing 136/9 to take the first innings points and top spot on the points table.
Papatoetoe 160 (L Clark 31; D Grobbelaar 4-48) and 193/7 (L Clark 64, O Reynolds-Pringle 30, S Money 47*; R Botadra 3-40) lost first innings to Howick Pakuranga 197 (D Phillips 82; B
Singh 4-73, N Aujla 3-47) and 136/9 (D Phillips 32, D Grobbelaar 30; B Singh 3-58, N Aujla 4-42).