Stingers beat Comets to go top of table

The Valley Stingers moved to the top of the South Otago 40-over table with an eight-wicket win over the previously unbeaten Clutha Comets in Balclutha on Saturday.

Clutha’s batting has been its strength this season but it was dismissed for 129 in the 37th over.

A 54-run opening stand between Mike Edwards and Caleb Carson set a strong platform, but once Carson went for 40, Clutha could not string any meaningful partnerships together.

Mike Edwards grafted for 14 off 72 balls.

The wickets were shared around by the Stingers bowlers with everyone except opener Jonny May taking a scalp. May deserved a wicket and returned fantastic figures of none for 16 off his eight overs. Chris Moffitt’s two for 20 off eight was the pick of the bunch.

In reply, the Stingers chased the total down well inside bonus-point territory in the 22nd over, largely thanks to an unbeaten 81 by skipper Lachie Johnston.

Johnston’s knock came off just the 72 balls and included 11 fours and three sixes.

He and Michael Johnston shared a 94-run second wicket partnership before Michael was dismissed for 29.

The Owaka Bandits started the year strongly on their home ground with a 158-run win over the Waihola Swans.

Owaka chose to bat and recorded a whopping 298 for six from 40 overs.

Opening batters Jeremy Gray and Danny Simmonds set the tone for the innings with an 89-run stand before Gray (56) was dismissed shortly after bringing up his fifth half-century of the season.

Quentin Gare and Gordon Edwards then added 126 runs for the third wicket and rarely looked troubled, Edwards leading the way with a tidy 78.

Francis Parker came to the crease in the 34th over and produced a strong cameo to take Owaka close to the 300 mark, hitting an unbeaten 56 off just 21 balls, including four fours and five sixes.

Kellan Crowie and Lachie MacDonald took two wickets each for Waihola.

In reply, the Swans were bowled out for 140 in the 27th over.

Crowie (21) and Dylan Bungard added 28 runs for the third wicket, and Bungard and skipper Jared Cunningham added a further 63 runs for the fourth wicket.

Bungard was in good form and found the boundary with ease for the most part before he fell for 61 off 48 balls.

Waihola’s tail could not add many runs and struggled with a fantastic spell of bowling by Jeremy Gray, who returned very impressive figures of four for 11 off 5.3 overs.

 - Francis Parker 

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