SOUTH OTAGO CRICKET CORRESPONDENT
The Waihola Swans have assured themselves a semifinal spot and piled further pressure on the Clutha Comets by beating the Comets by 26 runs in their match, played at the Cosmic Bullring in Balclutha.
The Swans batted first and recorded 161 for the loss of nine from their forty overs.
Waihola’s top and middle order all got starts but no-one could press on to a meaningful total.
The Swans batters took their time to get in before they started hitting which proved to be the right idea.
Dylan Bungard top scored for the Swans with 25 off 42 at the start of the innings.
There were some other useful cameos from Ryan Clark (22*), Rowan Craw (20) and Jared Cunningham (20).
Most of the Clutha bowlers gave a decent account of themselves, although 20 extras are once again too many. Dom Grinton was the pick of the bowlers and returned figures of three for 26 off eight overs.
In reply, Clutha was dismissed for 135 in the penultimate over of the innings.
The star of the innings was Swans bowler Ashley Manson, who returned extremely impressive figures of five for 18 off 7.1 overs. Manson was aided well by Brad Williams, who finished with figures of four for 21 off eight overs in what was a tight display of bowling from the travelling Swans. Mike Edwards (23), Kelan Smith (22) and Gordon Edwards (20) were the only real run scorers of note. Twenty-five extras also helped the total, but this time it didn’t affect the result as the Swans got the job done.
Waihola locks up a certain semi-final with this result.
It has moved on to 24 points, and with the Valley Stingers ten points behind with only ten points available, the Swans would go through if the two teams were tied based on previous results. This means that Clutha and Valley are fighting for the last semifinal spot.
Both have a bye week to come, a guaranteed five points.
Waihola Swans 161/9 (Dylan Bungard 25, Ryan Clark 22*; Dom Grinton 3-26) beat Clutha Comets 135 (Mike Edwards 23, Kelan Smith 22; Ashley Manson 5-18)
The Valley Stingers have kept their South Otago 40-over season alive with a crucial five-wicket win over the table-topping Kai Kings at the Wasp Nest, Tuapeka Mouth.
Kai elected to bat first and recorded 176 all out in the 38th over of the innings.
The Kai batters failed to record any meaningful partnerships as the Valley bowlers provided the goods at key times of the innings. Veteran Kings batter Allan Thomson held the side together at the top of the innings as he lost numerous partners at the other end.
Thomson was dismissed for 36 runs with Kai in trouble at 102 for five.
Valley was without strike bowler Ash Sharma for this match, but centurion Bevan McCall led from the front with the ball, taking an early pole before returning at the death to mop up the tail with ease. McCall returned figures of four for 22 off seven overs.
In reply, Valley took its side to victory with five overs remaining in the innings.
Lachie Johnston top scored with 46 for his side and McCall capped off a fantastic individual match with 40 runs. Kings skipper Shepherd was the pick of the bowlers with three for 42 off seven overs.
Valley Stingers 179/5 (Lachie Johnston 46, Bevan McCall 40; Mark Shepherd 3-42) beat Kaitangata Kings 176 (Jason Young 39, Allan Thomson 36; Bevan McCall 4-22)