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Two nail-biting Friday night games kicked off the second round of the South Otago T20 competition.
The Kai Kings batted first against the Lawrence Lions at the Royal Landfill in Kaitangata.
Kai opening batsman Pat McKenna anchored the innings with an impressive 54. When McKenna departed, itwas 83 for three. Daniel Sutherland (17) and Mark Shepherd (14) ensured the home side finished strongly, finishing with 115 for six.
Sam McCall and Jordan McEntee took two wickets each, McEntee with the better figures of two for 20 off three overs.
In reply Lawrence lost regular wickets, but were always in with a shout, until they needed twelve from the last over. Kai skipper Mark Shepherd had no hesitation in throwing the ball to Lilly Paterson, who had done the job so well the week before. Paterson stepped up again and Lawrence fell six short at 109 for eight. Lawrence skipper Sam Wyber top-scored with 23. Orry Young was the pick of the Kai bowlers. He took three for 10 off his four. Jason Young and Lilly Paterson took two wickets each.
The Waihola Swans opted to bat first against the Owaka Bandits at the Outlaw Oval in Owaka.
Owaka were in charge from the start, taking regular wickets. A couple of cameos towards the end, especially a well-struck 31 from Merlin Crowie, allowed the Swans to save face somewhat to end on 89 all out. Each Bandits bowler took at least one wicket. Nathan White (2-15), CP Singh (2-11) and Hayden Sheppard (2-18) all contributed nicely.
In reply, Owaka was in trouble early. After 8 overs the home side was struggling at 39 for four. Owaka skipper Francis Parker battled his usually aggressive instincts to see his side home with two overs to spare, ending not out on 25. Braden Adams (2-17) and fellow opening bowler Dylan Bungard (1-19) were sharp.
Balclutha's Cosmic Bullring hosted the only Saturday match, between the Clutha Comets and the Valley Stingers, both sides chasing their first win. The Comets were asked to bat and put together 131, all out in the final over of the innings. Connor Smith played well at the top for 20. The Clutha middle order misfired, but some lusty blows at the end from tail-enders Sam Mosley (19), Rhiane Smith (19) and Steven Van Asperen (16) pushed Clutha to a defendable total. Valley skipper Lachie Johnston stood out with the ball, his"off-spinners" snaring four for 11.
In reply the Stingers were left stranded on 122 for 9 after their 20. Dave McCall top-scored with 24. Jared Crawford bowled very well for Clutha, taking three for 20 off his four, and Rhiane Smith took one for six off two very important death overs to secure Clutha'svictory.
- Francis Parker