Bandits steal Challenge Cup away from Clutha

The Owaka Bandits are the new Challenge Cup holders after a nail-biting six-run win over the Clutha Comets at the Cosmic Bullring, Balclutha.

Owaka was asked to bat first and was in trouble at 39 for three off eight overs.

Bandits skipper Francis Parker came to the crease and held the innings together with a knock of 51 off 60 balls.

Some useful lower order runs, and 35 extras helped Owaka through to 153 all out in the 38th over.

Parker top-scored for Owaka, followed by extras. Jacob Beal-Harris was next best with 17.

Kelan Smith was the pick of the Clutha bowlers, taking an impressive four for 25 off his eight overs.

In reply the Comets lost early wickets and were in trouble at four for 40 off 12 overs.

Kelan Smith came to the crease and featured in two much-needed middle-order partnerships.

The second partnership of 69 with Sam Mosley put Clutha in pole position with only 20 runs required with wickets in hand.

The moment of the innings came when Smith was caught at cover by Owaka veteran Steve Clarke.

Clutha’s tail crumbled until a final wicket partnership between Tyler Ritchie and Scott McLaren brought their side within six runs, but Owaka took the final wicket and the Challenge Cup.

Smith top scored for Clutha with 45. Owaka’s 36 extras were next best.

Parker took three wickets for Owaka in a fine all-round performance.

The Valley Stingers gave the Lawrence Lions a taste of their own medicine with a walloping 107-run win over the Lions at the Wasp Nest, Tuapeka Mouth.

Valley was asked to bat first and made a very competitive 269 for seven including a fine century from Michael Johnston.

The innings started brightly enough for Lawrence. Key Stingers batsman Bevan McCall was back in the hutch on the second ball of the match, a major win for the Lions, as McCall has been in decent touch.

The rest of the Valley top order formed very competitive partnerships. Dave McCall and Michael Johnston were happy to nudge runs in the early stages of their partnership but then clicked it up a gear.

They put on 119 for the third wicket before McCall was dismissed for 55.

Stingers skipper Lachie Johnston hit a whirlwind 30 runs off 15 balls, to further increase his side’s score.

Michael Johnston was dismissed shortly after for a fine knock of 104, which included 16 fours and 2 sixes.

Lawrence skipper Sam Wyber returned the best bowling figures of three for 39 off six overs.

In reply, the Lions were bowled out for 162 in the 29th over, largely thanks to a five-wicket haul by 14-year-old leg spinner Luis Smales.

Lawrence started well enough and was more than equal to the run rate required in the early stages.

A solid passage of bowling between Bevan McCall and Ollie Badcock removed the dangerous Lawrence top order before Smales was introduced into the attack.

After a sketchy first over Smales found his stride and had the ball on string.

The Lawrence batsman were indecisive and Smales took full advantage, ripping through the tail to bowl Lawrence out inside 32 overs for the bonus point.

Will Young top scored for Lawrence with 27, Taine Wislon added some fireworks towards the end with an exciting 25.

Smales finished with fantastic figures of five for 45 off his eight overs.

The Kai Kings had a dominant 96-run win over the table topping Waihola Swans at the Royal Landfill in Kaitangata.

The Swans asked the Kings to bat first and they recorded 194 for the loss of seven wickets from their 40 overs.

A 76-run opening partnership between Orry Young and Blair Benington set the standard for the home side before a solid spell of bowling from Brad Williams reduced Kai to four for 103 after 26 overs.

Kings captain Mark Shepherd held the innings together with a knock of 45.

Fellow Kai stalwart Jason Young finished on 39 not out after hitting some useful runs towards the end.

Opening batsman Orry Young top-scored with 49.

Brad Williams was the stand out-bowler for the Swans, with figures of four for 21 off six overs.

In reply the Swans were bowled out for 98 in the 27th over of the match.

The Swans lost their two openers early on but a 56-run partnership between Caleb Mitchell (33) and Ashton Tourell (26) put them back on track.

With the game in the balance, the ball was thrown to Kings ace Jason Young.

He produced a great spell of bowling from the Glenn Paterson end of the Landfill.

After a rocky start, Young returned very impressive figures of six for 39, to take the game away from the Swans and give his side the bonus point win.


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