SOUTH OTAGO CRICKET CORRESPONDENT
The Owaka Bandits will host the final of the South Otago 40-over competition this weekend after beating the Clutha Comets by seven wickets in Owaka.
Clutha was happy to lose the toss and bat.
Openers Kelan Smith and Michael Hayes added 38 for the first wicket before both were dismissed in consecutive overs. Comets batter Gordon Edwards partnered with Sam Mosley to kick-start the innings. Connor Smith came to the crease to join Edwards.
They combined for 74 runs off just seven overs to push Clutha to 202 for six at the end of the 40 overs.
Jeremy Gray was the pick of the Owaka bowlers with three for 23 off eight overs.
Clutha was confident at the halfway stage, but that faded as Owaka openers Gray and Joel White started well.
Halfway through the innings, Owaka was 113 for the loss of no wicket.
Nick Manston made the breakthrough two overs after drinks, bowling White for 44 runs. Spicy overs from Kelan Smith removed Danny Simmonds and brought in Bandits skipper Quentin Gare.
Gare and Gray added 63 runs for the third wicket as Gray finished unbeaten on 105.
The Bandits won with four overs remaining. Nick Manston, Connor Smith, and Kelan Smith were the wicket takers for the Comets.
Owaka Bandits 204/3 (Jeremy Gray 105*, Joel White 44; Nick Manston 1-32) beat Clutha Comets 202/6 (Gordon Edwards 83*, Connor Smith 43*; Jeremy Gray 3-23)
The Waihola Swans beat the Kaitangata Kings by 32 runs in Kaitangata to book a spot in the finals.
Batting first, the Swans were in trouble early.
Opening Kings bowlers Jason Young and Kobe Thomson had Waihola at 14 for four after 10 overs before Rowan Craw and Brad Williams resurrected the innings.
Craw was dismissed on 53 as the Swans pushed past 100. Williams was joined by Levin Coulter-Butler.
The Swans amassed 166 for the loss of eight wickets from their 40 overs. Thomson was the pick of the bowlers with four for 19 off eight overs.
In reply, the Kings could muster only 134 runs.
Kai skipper Mark Shepherd and William Casey had it tough as Waihola’s tight bowling piled on the pressure.
Luc Thomson scored 27 but his partners did not offer much help, thanks to superb bowling by Craig Gordon who finished with four for 25 off 7.3 overs.
Ashley Manson (2-19) and Brad Williams (1-15) were miserly through the middle stages. William Casey (37) and Blair Benington (28) were the pick of the batters.
Waihola Swans 166/8 (Brad Williams 63, Rowan Craw 53; Kobe Thomson 4-19) beat Kaitangata Kings 134 (William Casey 37, Blair Benington 28; Craig Gordon 4-25)