SOUTH OTAGO CRICKET CORRESPONDENT
The Waihola Swans have shown their form and intention this season with a convincing 46-run win over the Valley Stingers in front of the Stingers’ home crowd at the Wasp Nest, Tuapeka Mouth.
The Swans opted to bat first and hit the ground running. Opening batters Rowan Craw and Dylan Bungard put on 44 for the first wicket which set a nice platform to build on. The Swans entered the drinks break at 107 for the loss of three wickets. Experienced Swans all-rounder Jared Cunningham continued the assault after drinks and batted well with the lower order. Cunningham hit a tidy 48 runs, which took his side to 183 for the loss of nine wickets from its 40 overs. Valley veteran Marc Phillips showed his class with the ball yet again, taking his first five-wicket haul of the season.
In reply, an equally as impressive opening stand of 45 by Valley batters Tony Omelvena and Daniel Cragg set the tone for what could have been a competitive run chase for the home side. However, once Omelvena was dismissed for 16 the rot started to set in. Valley lost six wickets for just 30 runs through the middle of the innings, largely thanks to Waihola talisman Craig Gordon, who bowled a fantastic eight-over spell to remove several of Valley’s key batters as Valley was rolled for 137.
Waihola Swans 183/9 (Jared Cunningham 48, Rowan Craw 45; Marc Phillips 5-19) beat Valley Stingers 137 (Luis Smales 26, Daniel Cragg 23; Craig Gordon 4-15).
A skipper’s knock from Clutha Comets captain Caleb Carson and a six-wicket haul on debut for Kurt Botting has led the Comets to a 25-run win over the Owaka Bandits at the Outlaw Oval, Owaka.
Clutha elected to bat first and made a solid 181 all out in the final over of the innings. Carson opened the batting and led from the front in difficult conditions. Carson shared two reasonable partnerships through the middle of the innings with Gordon Edwards (23), and Kelan Smith (17). Carson was dismissed for a fantastic 82 runs towards the end of the innings. His score consisted of four fours and four sixes, which in the conditions was a top effort. The remaining batters put on only another 10 runs for the loss of three wickets. Bandits all-rounder Jeremy Gray was the pick of the bowlers for the home side.
In reply, the Bandits started promisingly with Joel White hitting two sixes and a four inside the opening three overs to make his intentions clear. White continued to score before being dismissed off the bowling of Daniel Sutherland for 18. This brought Jeremy Gray to the crease hot off the back of his bowling display. Gray got off the mark with a six and continued to bat his way through the Bandits innings. Unfortunately for him, no other Bandits batters applied themselves and as wickets fell around him, Gray began to improvise. Enter Kurt Botting. Botting, on debut, bowling nude leg spin, tore the heart out of the Bandits’ batting lineup in an inspirational spell of bowling. Botting bowled eight overs on the trot, returning outstanding figures of six wickets for 35 runs off eight overs. As Botting tore through his partners, Gray began to panic and with 30 runs required he was caught on the boundary in a final rearguard action.
Clutha Comets 181 (Caleb Carson 82, Gordon Edwards 23; Jeremy Gray 4-15) beat Owaka Bandits 156 (Jeremy Gray 77, Joel White 18; Kurt Botting 6-35).