Close at the top of premier league

Wednesday, Feb 17 2021

After four rounds of the premier cricket two-day competition, the leaderboard has a familiar look about it with New Plymouth Marist United (NPMU), Inglewood and New Plymouth Old Boys (NPOB) filling the top three spots with a gap back to the fourth team.

NPMU cemented its spot at the top of the table with maximum points outright win over Woodleigh. Having picked up first innings points by 126 runs, NPMU decided not to enforce the follow on but rather to set a total. NPMU opener Sean Mosquera led the charge with a run-a-ball 74 to allow NPMU to declare at 125 for 5. This set Woodleigh a target of 252 for victory. Woodleigh never threatened the total and was dismissed for 108 with left-arm spinner Daniel Bernet doing most of the damage with six wickets.

Inglewood remains in second spot just two points behind NPMU after a big win over New Plymouth Boys' High School (NPBHS). After day one the game was evenly poised with Inglewood requiring a further 80-odd runs with eight wickets in hand, NPBHS picked up an early wicket on day two but the Inglewood batsmen asserted their dominance with Brent Stevens and Hayden McIntyre posting half-centuries to allow their team to declare at 324 for 9 and a lead of 112. Unfortunately for NPBHS, the pressure was too much and the batsmen could not cover the deficit. The team was bowled out for just 67. Shale Foy, fresh off representing the NZ Secondary School Maori team last week top scored with 30. Inglewood’s Aaron Taylor returned the best figures with 5 for 13 off 8 overs.

NPOB completed a big win over Francis Douglas Memorial College (FDMC) to remain in third spot just three points behind NPMU. NPOB wrapped up FDMC’s tail early on day two for a lead of 173 on the first innings. NPOB decided to enforce the follow on with the FDMC openers putting on a 55-run opening stand. Josh Elder was the first to be dismissed for 33, then Lenny Chapman joined Terry Norgate and the pair put on 82 for the second wicket before Chapman was dismissed for 37. Once NPOB got the breakthrough FDMC capitulated losing the last 9 wickets for 32 runs.  Norgate top-scored with 71 and FDMC was all out for 169 giving NPOB the outright win.

The final game of the round was the battle of the South with  Hawera taking on Stratford. Hawera posted 336 for 6 on day one with Stratford 20 for 2. Paul Lightoller (83) and Lachlan Drummond (47) got Stratford back in the game with a 126-run partnership for the third wicket. When Liam Heibner picked up the wicket of Lightoller Stratford was 166 for 4. However, the middle order could not capitalise on the position with only Chris Coombe providing any resistance with 41 as Stratford were dismissed for 244. The game was called off at the end of the Stratford innings with Hawera taking first-innings points.