Comets down Swans in final-ball thriller

Profitable partnership . .. Blair Benington and Orry Young talk shop between overs in Kaitangata on Saturday. PHOTOS: NICK BROOK



THE Clutha Comets beat the Waihola Swans on the final ball in a belter of a South Otago contest in Milton on Saturday.

Waihola elected to bat and scored 175 for eight from its 40 overs.

Swans vice-captain Dylan Bungard struck 62 off 61 balls to give his side a sizeable platform.

Waihola’s lower order threatened to add plenty to the total but part-time Clutha bowler Dom Grinton bowled one of his best spells to keep his side in the contest.

Grinton returned figures of five for 37 off eight overs as he ripped through the heart of the Waihola line-up. Brad Williams was the next-best Waihola batter with 33.

In reply, Caleb Carson and Gordon Edwards put on 58 for the second wicket before Carson was dismissed for 34.

Edwards added another 30 runs with Michael Hayes before he was out for 35 with the score in the balance at 88 for three.

Useful cameos from Kelan Smith (25) and Konrad Michie

(19) pushed Clutha closer to the total as the overs began to run out.

With one wicket remaining and three runs required from two balls, tail-ender Kurt Botting and Comets veteran Steve Van Asperen ran a two before Botting sealed the deal on the final ball, giving Clutha a third win on the bounce.

Bungard capped a super day with three for 25 off four overs, and skipper Jared Cunningham took three for 33 off eight.

A Challenge Cup match that promised so much ended up being a damp squib as the Kai Kings mauled the Valley Stingers by 160 runs in Kaitangata.

The Kings elected to bat and made 228 for four.

An 88-run partnership between Blair Benington and Orry Young set the tone for the afternoon as the Kings batsmen rarely looked troubled.

When Young was dismissed for 24, William Casey came to the crease in his first appearance of the season.

Casey batted well with Benington (62) and the remainder of the Kings line-up to finish unbeaten on 65 off 77 balls (eight fours and one six).

The Stingers bowled 42 extras, while Marc Phillips took two for 28 off eight overs.

In reply, the Stingers slumped to 68 all out in the 22nd over.

A promising start from Morgan Culbertson (22) was followed by Valley losing its way.

Mark Shepherd tore through the Valley middle order to return the outstanding figures of five for 15 off 5.1 overs, which included a hat-trick.

Kings opening bowlers Jason Young (two for 30) and Kobe Thomson (two for 10) were also impressive as the Kings continued their great start to the season.

Lawnmower man . . . Lachlan Roy’s sprint to stop Blair Benington’s boundary came up short.