Cricket: Alpacas dig deep to beat Papatoetoe

By Jim Allnatt

The two clubs have a long history with many players from both sides having played in the Manukau Junior tournaments and Auckland age grades.

In the early days our best players played for Papatoetoe as part of a district side so there is a real rivalry between the clubs and the matches at Premier level are always close. Now the teams play for the Hellaby Hunt Cup in the two day match so it was all on.

It was a drama-filled two days play with both sides batting well below par in the first innings. Papatoetoe struggled to 144 against Grobbelaar 2/35, Jolley 2/31 Botadra 4/21 and Blandford 2/32.

The Alpacas looked good with 59 on the board and only two wickets down but after Walshy went for 31 and Dan for 23 the boys failed to capitalise and finished the day seven wickets down and about 70 runs short.

Donovan Grobbelaar hits out. Photo supplied

Day 2 provided a sunny day and a wicket that wasn’t two faced and the Alpacas put another 50 runs on the board and were bowled out 23 runs short at 121. Papatoetoe bowled really well, backed it up with good fielding and appealed regularly and, to be fair, earned the lead.

However a good team always finds a way to win and as the deficit was only 23 and 81 overs were left in the day, the opportunity was there to win if we were good enough. The visitors put up stiff resistance and things swung either way. In the end Papatoetoe was bowled out for 161 in 37 overs so they had got on with it. McEwen 2/49, Grobbelaar 2/18, Brown 2/36 and Jones 3/36 took wickets.

That left a target of 186 to win in 41 overs. A pretty tough task but fair. The side had earned the chance by dismissing the opposition – no declaration. The run chase was nearly always on target as far as run rate was concerned but wickets fell at awkward times. Bill Walsh set a platform with 38 and Barnard, David Winn and Grobbelaar with 44, 37 and 26 respectively set the run chase up. With four overs to go HPCC was 167/7 and it was knife edge time again. Matt McEwan 17* and Adam Jones 7* held their nerve and with only three balls to go Macca drove the winning four.

Absolute elation in the stand, Hunty had a smile on his face and just shows that the Alpacas are a very good side.