Swans, Bandits tie thriller at Owaka

On the money . .. Owaka Bandits batsman Daniel Simmonds cracks a ball through the offside during the match against the Waihola Swans in Owaka on Saturday.
Sharp precision . . . Waihola Swans bowler Jared Hayes sends down a delivery
against the Owaka Bandits. PHOTOS: EVELYN THORN


Two hard-hitting cricket matches were played over the weekend.

The Owaka Bandits and Waihola Swans tied their match in testing conditions in Owaka. Both sides threw away numerous chances to gain control of the match, with the Swans feeling slightly more aggrieved as they had more than a fair chance of winning the match at the death.

Batting first after winning the toss, Owaka only managed 118 all out in the 36th over. Opener Daniel Simmonds top-scored with 29 in what was another disappointing batting display from the home side, but the tail wagged and pushed the total over the 100 mark. Matt Morahan’s 15 runs was key towards the end of the innings.

Experienced Swans bowlers Dylan Bungard and Greg Webber took three wickets each. Bungard’s three for 23 was the best return for the Swans.

In reply, Bungard’s form continued with the bat as the Bandits’ bowlers took key wickets at the other end. Bungard was joined by Brad Williams with fewer than 50 runs required and five wickets in hand. Owaka began believing it could win as the bowlers tore through the Swans tail, leaving last pair Mitch Burford and Jared Hayes at the crease and 15 runs still required.

The two managed to level the scores before Burford (22) was bowled trying to hit the ball into next week and the match was tied.

Waihola turned down the opportunity of a super over which meant both teams split the points.

Bungard’s 51 was the shining light of the Waihola innings.

The two teams sit in third and fourth on the table with Waihola holding a four-point lead over the Bandits. The Swans host Kai next week in what will be another challenging match. Owaka heads to Valley in what will be a big battle at the bottom of the pile.

Owaka Bandits 118 (Daniel Simmonds 29, Jeremy Gray 17; Dylan Bungard three for 23) tied with Waihola Swans 118 (Dylan Bungard 51, Mitch Burford 22; Jeremy Gray two for 20)

The Kaitangata Kings have beaten the Clutha Comets by 59 runs in their top-of-the-table clash in Balclutha.

The Kings put on a clinic, with opening batter Blair Benington and top order partner William Casey leading the way once again. Kai recorded 215 for the loss of four wickets from its 40 overs. Benington made 68 before being dismissed off the bowling of Kurt Botting.

Casey came in at 23 for the loss of one in the ninth over and carried his bat through the innings to finish unbeaten on 69.

In reply, the Comets were bowled out for 156 in the 34th over, largely due to a six-wicket haul from skipper Mark Shepherd. Another partnership from Michael Hayes (44) and Michael White (30) threatened to turn the tables once more, but Shepherd took the key wicket of White before smashing through the Comets tail with three wickets in his final over to return outstanding figures of six for 24 off eight overs.

Hayes top-scored for the Comets with Caleb Carson’s 42 next best.

Kai has extended its lead at the top of the 40-over table with one match remaining in the first round.

It is six points ahead of Clutha which has the bye next weekend and receives a guaranteed five points.

Kai takes on the Waihola Swans next weekend and will be firm favourite to keep its unbeaten streak alive.

Kaitangata Kings 215 for four (William Casey 69 not out, Blair Benington 68; Sam Mosley one for 29) beat Clutha Comets 156 (Michael Hayes 44, Caleb Carson 42; Mark Shepherd six for 24)