Swans firm up No 2 spot with win

The Waihola Swans have consolidated second place in the South Otago 40-over competition with a 69-run win over the Lawrence Lions in Lawrence on Saturday.

Waihola won the toss and batted first. Opening batsman Dion Willocks was in top form, scoring 51 runs and stabilising the top order.

Willocks and Brad Williams added 71 runs for the third wicket before both batsmen were dismissed in quick succession. Some tidy finishing from Greg Webber (32*) and Peter Grant (32*) gave the Swans a defendable total of 196 for five.

In reply, the Lions were bowled out for 127 in the 27th over. Regular wickets through the middle of the innings pushed the result firmly in Waihola’s favour. A quickfire 35 off 24 from Cam Horne was not enough for the home team.

Jamie Morton was the pick of the Swans’ bowlers with four for 22 off his eight overs.

The Owaka Bandits increased their lead at the top of the table with a 58-run win over the Kai Kings in Owaka on Saturday. Electing to bat first, the home side made 187 from its 40 overs.

Kai’s opening bowlers were on the money and restricted the Bandits’ batsmen early on. Owaka was 75 for one at the halfway mark with work to do. Joel White and Gordon Edwards added 93 runs for the second wicket before both were dismissed in quick time. Owaka’s middle order provided some key runs before Kai fought back well in the latter stages.

Edwards was the top scorer with 46 and White scored 41.

Lilly Paterson returned figures of three for 59 off seven overs for the Kings.

In reply, Kai was set up nicely at 82 for the loss of three at drinks.

But the bowling partnership of Daniel White and Jacob Beal-Harris swung the match back in Owaka’s favour. The duo frustrated the Kai batsmen, who were forced into playing rash shots.

Owaka’s energy in the field was infectious and the Kai tail-enders were left with too much work to do and the side was bowled out for 129 in the 34th over. Kings opening batsman Blair Benington top-scored with 44 and looked solid pre-drinks. Quentin Gare bowled extremely well in the opening stages of the match and recorded figures of three for eight off six overs. Beal-Harris also took three wickets.

The Valley Stingers have moved into outright third position on the table after a 29-run win over the Clutha Comets in Balclutha on Saturday. Valley won the toss, elected to bat and recorded 140, all out in the 38th over.

The Valley middle order salvaged the innings somewhat but was not able to string together meaningful partnerships. Marc Phillips batted extremely well, scoring 30, and combining with the tail. He pushed Valley through to a defendable total, largely thanks to 37 extras bowled by the Comets’ bowlers. Michael Johnston top-scored for Valley with 34 runs.

Daniel Sutherland’s 3-18 off eight overs was the best for the Comets.

A polished fielding performance from Valley resulted in Clutha being dismissed for 111 in the 33rd over. Valley’s fielding was top drawer — three run outs broke the back of the Clutha challenge. Clutha limped to the finish well short at the end. The wickets were shared around by the Valley bowlers, Tony Omelvena (2-22) and Michael Johnston (2-14) the pick of them.

 - Francis Parker 

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