Manukau have hack­les up

Franklin County News - - SPORT - ALAN APTED

Manukau is out to pinch cricket’s W.H.Tay­lor Shield from un­der the noses of Pukekohe-Metro.

They will de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons head into the fi­nal round of the two day cham­pion start­ing on Satur­day four be­hind the com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers and have the eas­ier draw.

They face tailen­ders United at their War Memo­rial Park home ground while Pukekohe-Metro are at home to a much tougher Karaka at Bledis­loe Park.

Manukau need an an out­right to keep the heat on the com­pe­ti­tion front run­ners. In that case Pukeko­heMetro will be forced to beat Karaka out­right. A first in­nings win won’t be enough.

Manukau cap­tain Ash­wyn Her­wels said his play­ers are aware of the stakes and they will be play­ing a strate­gic game.

‘‘We have to pretty much win by an out­right. Any­thing less won’t do. Ide­ally, we’d like to bat just once...We must be pa­tient and mea­sured in our ap­proach.

‘‘Our bats­men need to value their wick­ets and build their in­nings and our bowlers must be ac­cu­rate with their line and length.’’

Her­wels said the ab­sence of rep­re­sen­ta­tive cricket makes for a mouth wa­ter­ing finale be­cause Manukau, Pukekohe-Metro and thir­dranked Karaka will have their best play­ers avail­able.

Pukekohe-Metro spokesman Corey Hunter said noth­ing less than an out­right will do for his team.

‘‘We need to score more than 200 runs and we can’t take too long do­ing it be­cause our bowlers need time to bowl them out twice for us to stand a chance.’’

Manukau, Pukeko­heMetro and Karaka all fin­ished with out­rights last week­end.

Else­where, Wey­mouth beat United by 16 runs to win the as­so­ci­a­tion’s eight aside T20 league at the Opa­heke Re­serve last Satur­day.

Wey­mouth made 199-4 off their 20 overs. United made 183-7 off 19.2 overs in re­ply.

And Coun­ties Manukau wrapped up their Fer­gus Hickey Rose­bowl cam­paign with an out­right loss to Bay of Plenty in Tau­ranga last week­end.

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