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Kings opener Jason Young soon had the Bandits in trouble at 25 for two off five overs. The batsmen struggled to get the ball away and the lush outfield gave them no value for their shots. After 10 overs, the Bandits were 43 for three and needed to boost the run rate.
Opener Jeremy Gray, who is in the form of his life, took the bull by the horns. Gray finished on 80 not out, with help from partners Joel White, Francis Parker and Tony Miller, who scored 13 each. Kai bowled 25 extras and Owaka finished on 147 for 5. Jason Young was the pick of the Kai bowlers with three for 12 off four overs.
In reply, the Kings were bowled out for 105 in the final over. Owaka’s opening bowlers did a fantastic job in restricting runs at the start of the innings.
The openers took three early wickets to have Kai three down for 18 off six overs. The Kai batsmen could not build partnerships and tried to push singles into twos, losing two wickets through run-outs.
Pat McKenna was a rock in the Kai innings, trying to hold things together as partners fell around him. He
finished on 27. Jason Young’s 26 included three sixes. Bandits captain Tony Miller was the pick of the bowlers, with four wickets for six runs off his four overs. The Lawrence Lions picked up their first win of the season with a Sam Wyber-inspired five-wicket win over the Valley Stingers in Lawrence.
Valley batted first and made 115 for six off its 20 overs. None of the batsmen could take advantage of the short boundaries. Michael Johnston top-scored for the Stingers with 23. Pete Allan was next best with 22. Mitch Pryde was the pick of the Lions bowlers, taking three for 17 off his four overs. Taine Wilson had three for 20 off three.
Lawrence skipper Sam Wyber took the fight to the Valley bowlers. He hit 11 sixes and two fours in his knock of 80 to take the game away from Valley in a fine example of power hitting.
Sam Vickery was the next highest Lions batsmen with nine runs. Lawrence ran the total down in the final over for the loss of six wickets. Wyber was the hero of the day. Stingers opener Marc Phillips returned figures of two for three off his four overs. Lachie Johnston, Bevan McCall and Richard Ray took the other wickets for the Stingers.
The Waihola Swans beat the Clutha Comets by 12 runs on Friday night in Balclutha. The Swans elected to bat first in very moist conditions, managing 101 for six off 20 overs. Shannon Young carried his bat and top-scored with 23 not out. The Comets bowlers gave up 45 extras — 37 of them wides. Young was the only Swans batsman to reach double figures. Sam Mosley was the pick of the Comets bowlers with two for 20 off four overs.In reply the Comets were dismissed for 89 in the final over of the game. Opener Chris Faddes (13) and middle order batsmen Heath Faddeson (26) and Morgan Lindsay (14) all had useful cameos. Shannon Young continued his good day with figures of five for 22 off four overs, his first five-wicket bag in premier cricket. Nick Mansten and Taylor Moeahu took two wickets each and young Kellan Crowie took one for eight off his four overs.
- Francis Parker