By Jim Allnatt
The struggle for the Hellaby Hunt Cup is well and truly on with the Marie Raos Ray White HPCC Premier Men sitting in a strong position to capitalise on a good day’s cricket next week.
Papatoetoe were invited to bat by acting skipper Andrew Morrison and were soon in trouble at 49/4 against the bowling of Rudi Botadra and Donovan Grobbelaar.
Then Dipreet Singh and N. Deol put on 87 runs in a dogged partnership and looked to be taking control until Botadra had Singh caught by Brian Barnard for 47 with the total at 136 and then four overs later, Deol bowled Taine Jolley, caught Barnard, for 67.
After that it was just a matter of time as Botadra and Jolley cleaned up the tail.
The Howick Pakuranga bowlers kept a firm leash on their opponents and were backed up with the usual high quality fielding. Botadra had his best day for the Premier side with 5/33 off 17 overs and Jolley turned in an outstanding performance with 3/14 off 10 overs.
In the end, Papatoetoe had scored 203 in 73 overs which looked to be a fairly challenging total given the slow nature of the wicket and the long grass in the outfield.
Howick lost an early wicket with six runs on the board and another at 34 which did seem to back up the idea that the runs were not going to come easily.
However Dan Young was still there at stumps with a well-compiled 53 including five fours and a six after opening the innings and Barnard came to the crease at 4 and proceeded to blast the Papatoetoe bowlers to all four corners of the field. He is 74 off 61 balls with 5 fours and two sixes included in that total.
At stumps, Howick Pakuranga’s total stood at 149/2 trailing by 54 runs with eight wickets in hand. Hopefully the weather gods are kind next week and the lads can get on the field.