SOUTH OTAGO CRICKET CORRESPONDENT
The Valley Stingers are two wins from two in the South Otago T20 competition.
The Stingers have beaten the Waihola Swans by 27 runs thanks to the Duckworth Lewis System, as their match was rained off towards the end of the second innings.
Batting first, Waihola recorded a below par 113 for the loss of eight wickets from their 20 overs. Extremely tight bowling from spearheads Marc Phillips and Ash Sharma restricted Waihola’s run scoring and piled plenty of pressure on the batters.
A key partnership between Rowan Craw and Simon Smaill was brewing nicely before Luis Smales removed both batters in consecutive overs. Some pinch hitting at the end took Waihola over the mental barrier of 100, but at Valley, a low score like this would always be hard to defend. Ash Sharma took two for 13 off his four fantastic overs.
Marc Phillips took one for nine off his four overs and continues his red hot form with the ball. Smaill (24) and Craw (21) top scored for the Swans in their first innings.
In reply, Waihola took three early poles to give them profound confidence. Opening bowler Lachie MacDonald took two of the early wickets and was very dangerous. Experienced Valley batters Michael Johnston and Bevan McCall combined well for a fourth wicket partnership of 52 before McCall was dismissed for 27. Captain Lachie Johnston came to the crease to join his cousin but the rain came and the match was called after ten overs with Valley comfortably ahead on 82 for the loss of four wickets.
MacDonald finished with two for 10 off two well-bowled overs for his side. Jared Hayes picked up his first scalp of the season and returned figures of one for 20 off two overs. Ashley Manson was the other Waihola wicket taker. Michael Johnston was unbeaten on 33 at the end for the victorious Valley side.
Valley Stingers 82/4 (Michael Johnston 33*, Bevan McCall 27; Lachie MacDonald 2-10) beat Waihola Swans 113/8 (Simon Smaill 24, Rowan Craw 21; Ash Sharma 2-13).
The Owaka Bandits have picked up their first win in the shorter format of the game with a six wicket win over the Clutha Comets at the Outlaw Oval in Owaka.
Clutha were asked to bat first and were in a world of trouble early doors. Some poor shot selection and some fantastic fielding from Owaka reduced Clutha to 24 for the loss of five wickets after nine overs. Comets captain Gordon Edwards and club legend Jared Crawford combined for an important sixth-wicket stand of 45 before Edwards was caught on the boundary just shy of his half century. Crawford (16), Scott McLaren (17), and Nick Warne (14*) added some useful cameos towards the end of the innings to push their side to 115 for the loss of eight wickets from their 20 overs. Edwards’ 43 was by far the pick of the totals for the Comets. Matt Morahan took two wickets for 35 runs.
Quentin Gare (1-11) and Jeremy Gray (1-10) were at their miserly best.
Owaka’s fielding was top draw with two fantastic run-outs and two very slick catches from Raiden Pennicott.
In reply Owaka lost both openers with 43 runs on the board. The reliable Joel White came to the crease and steadied the ship for the home side. White played within himself when he had to, but also unleashed some powerful shots to the boundary. White, and captain Quentin Gare looked to have the game in the bag with four overs left until one Dom Grinton over removed both batters to give Owaka some nervous moments towards the end of the innings as the rain started to fall.
Cool heads from Matt Morahan and 50-game veteran Hayden Sheppard saw the Bandits home in an exciting finish with an over to spare. Joel White was the top scorer for Owaka with 39.
Opener Jeremy Gray was next best with 17. Grinton’s 2-4 off 1.2 overs was the pick of the bowlers, but a tidy partnership between Nick Warne and Scott McLaren through the middle was equally as impressive.
Owaka Bandits 116/5 (Joel White 39, Jeremy Gray 17; Dom Grinton 2-4) beat Clutha Comets 115 (Gordon Edwards 43, Scott McLaren 17; Matt Morahan 2-35).