By Jim Allnatt
On Saturday the Marie Raos Ray White HPCC Premier Men were on top of the world with a well-earned outright win over Parnell at Shore Rd propelling the side into the lead in the Hedley Howarth Two Day Major Championship.
On Sunday Parnell returned the favour by knocking the local lads out of the Jeff Crowe Limited Overs Competition in the major semi-final. This was the first defeat that Howick Pakuranga have suffered all season.
Parnell batted first in the two-day match and compiled a very slow 178 on the first day. Danru Ferns 4/57 and Matt McEwan 3/53 were the main wicket takers but all the bowlers were on point. At the end of day one the Alpacas were 55/1 and looking likely with Dan Young and Andrew Morrison at the wicket. Howick batted until just after lunch on day two declaring as soon as it had a first innings lead and a batting bonus point. Young was unbeaten on 90, Morrison scored 40 and Barnard was 40*. This opened the match right up and Parnell accepted the challenge scoring 224/5 off 28 overs before setting Howick 223 to win in 35 overs at 6.5 runs an over.
The Howick lads were always going to accept this challenge and, after an early setback, had scored 91 when Morrison was dismissed. Bill Walsh continued to play the captain’s role anchoring the innings and by the time he was dismissed in the 26th over he had scored 66 and with the score at 165/3 had seen that Howick had worked its way into a position to close the match out. Barnard hit two fours in the 34th over to clinch victory and finished on 78* off 54 balls. He received support from Dale Phillips and David Winn who both scored at better than a run ball.
This sets the side up for the next match against second placed Suburbs New Lynn in an encounter that may decide the fate of the Hedley Howarth Competition.
Sunday’s match in the One Day semi-final did not go well for the Alpacas. A fired-up Parnell XI batted first and compiled a very useful 263/8 with Aces Chapman 52 and Somerville 23 among those batsmen who scored well. McEwan 3/43, Donovan Grobbelaar 2/11 and Mitchell McClenaghan 2/45 bowled well. Howick lost too many early wickets against a fired-up Parnell attack and was never really allowed into the match. Black Cap Will Somerville came on later in the innings and returned the outstanding figures of 6/10. In the end, Parnell ran out clear and deserving winners.