Fin­ish­ing year as 50-over cham­pi­ons

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - LEANNE GREEN

Fi­nally the weather played its part for the fi­nal of the 50-over Waikato Val­ley com­pe­ti­tion which saw Hin­uera win the Mike Cot­ter Tro­phy.

The grass pitch at St Pauls in Hamil­ton was pic­ture per­fect for what would be a close en­counter be­tween the home side and visi­tors Hin­uera.

This was the first time in three years that Hin­uera had pro­gressed to the fi­nal and there was no doubt they were on a mis­sion from the start.

Win­ning the toss, St Pauls elected to bat which prob­a­bly played into the hands of the Hin­uera pace bowlers. While wides were rea­son­ably plen­ti­ful in the early overs, it was also clear there was plenty of move­ment and swing.

Ja­son Rusk took the first wicket in the 4th over and struck again in the 12th over to have both open­ers gone and only 46 runs on the board. Wick­ets fell at reg­u­lar in­ter­vals and the hosts found them­selves 5 down with only 89 runs af­ter 23 overs.

Two wick­ets by Alan Tap­pin en­sured any part­ner­ships were short lived. Lo­cal boy Ed­die Sclater an­chored one end and bat­tled to 30 runs af­ter 90 balls, prov­ing to be the pick of the bat­ters.

Us­ing the spin­ner Ian Marshall to get key break throughs and some amaz­ing field­ing saw St Pauls dis­missed for 148 af­ter 40 overs. Marshall 2 -24 off 8, Tap­pin 2 – 32 off his 10 and Rusk 2- 21 off 6.

So with runs on the board, Hin­uera needed a good start with the pace at­tack, know­ing that they would have a bar­rage spin­ners later in the in­nings.

Again it was Scott Mitchell that pro­vided the steady, care­ful ap­proach while Wil­son, Dhi­man and Tap­pin came and went. Tap­pin added a quick fire 24 off 15 of balls be­fore be­ing bowled.

Joined by An­thony Marsh, these two formed a 50-run part­ner­ship be­fore Mitchell was bowled for a hard earned 24 runs. At 96 and 4 wick­ets down, the 148 seemed to be a long way off for ner­vous spec­ta­tors, com­pounded by very tight spin bowl­ing by St Pauls.

An­thony Marsh and David Scholtz stead­ied things and pun­ished any bad ball they could with Marsh fall­ing on 30.

Schultz con­tin­ued to work hard while wick­ets fell at the other end and was re­warded with hit­ting the win­ning four to fin­ish not out on 38.

Hin­uera 7 was wick­ets down and reached the to­tal in the 40th over. This was a game of ebbs and flows with some key mo­ments for both teams, 3 run outs sug­gested how des­per­ately both teams wanted this win.

St Pauls have played in the fi­nal for the last three years and have not been able to se­cure the Mike Cot­ter Tro­phy. Credit to Hin­uera for hold­ing their nerve and fin­ish­ing 2016 as 50-over cham­pi­ons. The 2017 sea­son sees teams move into the two day cricket.

SUP­PLIED

Hin­uera Cricket Team won the Mike Cot­ter tro­phy.

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