By Jim Allnatt
The clash between the two top sides in Auckland promised much and delivered a spine-tingling match which went right down to the last ball.
Parnell batted first in the third round of the Jeff Crowe limited overs competition and were immediately in trouble at 2/3 due to fiery opening bursts from Donovan Grobbelaar and Mitchell McClenaghan, both taking an early wicket.
However Parnell knuckled down with Ben Horne and Flynn McGregor-Sumpter staging a third wicket recovery yielding 166 runs before Horne went for 98.
McGregor-Sumpter went next for 64 with the score at 200 and rain stopped play a short time later
The match was shortened to 48 overs with McClenaghan and Grobbelaar taking a wicket each as Parnell were restricted to 229.
The Alpaca’s opening pair of Dan Young and Bill Walsh put on a useful 55 runs for the first wicket before Young went for 28.
From then on Howick Pakuranga continued to lose wickets regularly with the batsmen all getting starts but only Brian Barnard with 45 managing to go on.
Two unfortunate run-outs did not help the Alpaca’s cause. At 177/7 with 9 overs to go, the situation looked grim for the home side but Adam Jones’ 31 off 29 balls and Rudi Botadra with a run-a-ball 25 took the score to 228 with three balls to go.
Unfortunately Fisher ended Jones’s valiant effort and the next batsman was caught first ball and Parnell held on to win.
The result leaves Parnell as the only undefeated team in the competition, with the Alpacas still in the hunt lying second on the table.