Long wait ahead to find ND Gillette Cup Finalist
Published on 29 Mar 2019
We will have to wait until later in the season to find the ND qualifier for the Gillette Cup National Finals after the ND Finals day was washed-out.
It will be two Hamilton teams contesting the final when it is played, after St. Paul's Collegiate and Hamilton Boys' High went through their respective pools unbeaten.
Monday, March 25 was day one of the tournament, and some brief rain saw each match reduced to 45 overs per-side.
Pool one saw St. John's College take on Tauranga Boys' College and Hamilton Boys' High play Whangarei Boys' High.
St John's looked well-placed to build a handy total at 105/2, but a double-strike in the 36th over, including the wicket of top-scoring skipper, Daniel Coles for 54, sparked a flurry of wickets from which St. John's never recovered - they finished on 146/8 from their 45; Isaac White starring with 4-25 with the ball in-hand.
Given the threat of rain, Tauranga were in no mood to risk the match being washed-out, scoring the required runs in just 20.1 overs for the loss of just two wickets; captain Taylor Bettelhiem matching his opposite number's feat by registering a half-century.
Whangarei set Hamilton 175 to win in the second match of pool one; Kian Bird looking good for the batting side with 72 not out.
Despite Whangarei taking wickets at semi-regular intervals, Hamilton managed to score the required runs without too much fuss, emerging victorious by five wickets with six overs to spare.
Pool two saw the highest scores of the tournament posted as the sides looked to gain some early momentum.
Kamo High scored an impressive 220/8 off 45 in an innings which ebbed and flowed in their match against Aquinas College.
Kamo made it through to 40 runs before losing their first wicket, which sparked a flurry of dismissals as they found themselves 72/5. Through all the wickets, Kamo number three Nathan Parkes stood strong, adding 64 with Kobe Walters (30) and 47 with James Martin before Parkes was dismissed for 61. Despite losing another partner quickly, Martin continued the recovery, finishing 56 not out off 43 balls as he elevated the scoring rate near the end of the innings to push Kamo's score to 220.
Both sides were frustrated early in the chase as the weather forced a break in the seventh over.
Fortunately, the break wasn't too long, and Aquinas were now chasing a revised 216 for victory. Fearing the risk of another downpour, Aquinas scored at a brisk rate, racing to 107 in the 14th over before losing their first wicket with Joel Hayes being caught-behind for 44.
Aquinas had lost one further wicket by the time they made their way to 150/2 in the 22nd over and seemed to be cruising, until a remarkable six wickets in 23 balls left Aquinas reeling and in great danger of losing the match. Hunter Reid accounted for two of the dismissals, removing number five and six 's stumps, but Aquinas' main tormentor was Kobe Walters, who took four wickets to complete a brilliant five-wicket bag, having also taken the first wicket of the innings.
Aquinas now found themselves 162/8. Overs weren't a problem, but they needed 53 runs with only two wickets in-hand.
Fortunately for Aquinas, opener Fergus Lellman was still at the crease, and found a willing ally in number 10, Harrison McGregor.
The two combined for the required 53 runs, with Fergus Lellman rounding-off a special day by hitting the winning runs with a four; taking him to a round 100 not out.
The other match in the pool was more straight-forward, with St. Paul's Collegiate making a big 275/9 off their 45; opener Ollie o' Meeghan scoring 73 and Kuwyn Price making 79 at three.
St. Paul's then produced an efficient bowling performance to dismiss St. Peter's School for 120; the wickets shared among the bowlers.
Pool one saw a couple of low scoring encounters. Tauranga dismissed Whangarei for 104, with Niven Dovey taking 4-21, but Whangarei made Tauranga's chase difficult, taking six wickets before Tauranga reached their total.
St. John's were bowled out for 93 by Hamilton in the other fixture, but yet again the side bowling second put-up a good fight defending their low total, claiming five scalps before Hamilton made it to 94 runs.
Pool two yielded more runs than the first, St. Paul's making it to 193 before being bowled out; star of the show for Aquinas was the previous day's century-maker, Fergus Lellman, who took 5-21, including the wicket of St. Paul's top-scorer Kuwyn Price for 84.
Things were looking promising for Aquinas when they set 52 for the first wicket, and made it through to 86/1, but when they lost top-scorer Lellman for 42, wickets would continue to fall at regular intervals, and they were eventually dismissed for 144.
Day three played host to a decider in pool one as unbeaten sides Hamilton and Tauranga came face-to-face to decide who would top the group and head to the final of the competition.
Batting first, Hamilton scored 216/9 off their 50 overs thanks largely to 88 from captain Jacob Parker.
Tauranga found themselves in early trouble when they lost two wickets after only four overs with two runs on the board. Tauranga captain, Taylor Bettelhiem, set about rebuilding the innings and combined with Niven Dovey for a 52-run partnership before Dovey was bowled by Banroj Sidhu for 35. Hamilton took three more wickets to leave Tauranga's chase on the ropes at 87/6, but Bettelhiem was still at the crease and working hard to keep the innings together. He combined with Blake Pentecost for 43 runs and Liam Collett for 23 to keep the chase very much alive.
Bettelhiem passed 100 and put-on 33 runs with Mitchell Kale to get the equation down to 31 runs required from 28 balls: the game very much wide-open.
Unfortunately for Tauranga, Kale was run out shortly after and Bettelhiem's brilliant innings came to an end on 109 and with it, Hamilton won the match by 27 runs and progressed to the final.
The other match in pool one was equally thrilling, with St. John's being dismissed for 151 after a brilliant 5-19 from Whangarei's Kian Bird.
Bird then top-scored with 54 as the chase went down to the wire, Whangarei eventually emerging victorious by one-wicket.
It was all still to play for in pool two as St. Paul's looked to make it three from three against Kamo while Aquinas and St. Peter's, who were on one win each, were hoping Kamo would do them a favour to give them a chance of securing qualification.
Aquinas batted first and although plenty of their batsmen made starts, they lacked that one batsman who converted their start into a big score and were bowled out for a seemingly low total of 158; Josh Kalma doing the bulk of the damage with 4-16.
Fortunately for Aquinas their bowlers were firing on all cylinders, four of them taking two wickets apiece to bowl St. Peter's out for 131 and secure a 27-run victory.
Any hopes Aquinas had of qualifying for the final were dashed by a professional performance from St. Paul's in the other fixture.
Sam Lints' 73 formed the basis of St. Peter's first innings score of 213/9, before they dismissed Kamo for 116 to earn a 97-run win and the right to challenge Hamilton in the final to see who will represent ND in the Gillette Cup National Finals later in the year.