NZCT National Club Cricket Championship 2019
Cornwall Cricket Club, Auckland
2-7 April 2019
Napier Technical Old Boys defeated Eastern Suburbs by 8 wickets
Defending champions Napier Technical Old Boys made it two from two with another early finish in Wednesday’s second-round match at the 2019 NZCT National Club Championship.
Squaring off on the number two oval against another well versed recent title-holder in Wellington’s Eastern Suburbs, it should have been the match of the day.
But, after winning the toss and sending Easts in, Texans captain Liam Rukuwai set the tone with a wicket first ball of the innings.
Rukuwai would go on to claim three of the top four batsmen in his haul of 3-36 — with his biggest wicket unquestionably that of Wellington Firebird Michael Bracewell.
When Bracewell was caught on 18 at 56 for four, he left Jamie Gibson to carry on without him — but Gibson was caught cheaply off NZ Under-19 rep Todd Watson just five balls later, for no addition to the score. Two huge wickets for the Texans that put them well in control of the match.
With all this inside the first 14 overs, Easts faced a tough recovery job, but they did still have some potency left in their line-up with the likes of Jimad Khan and Firebirds keeper-batsman Lauchie Johns. Unfortunately for the Wellingtonians Watson soon had both their wickets, as well, at low cost en route to an impressive 4-27.
Captain Lance Dry tried to throw an anchor down to give his last men someone to bat around, but when Jayden Lennox (2-7) removed him in the 25th over it left tailenders Ili Tugaga (19 not out) and Peter O’Connell (20 off 28) trying whatever they could to get something to bowl out before the account was closed off in the 34th over.
After their 10-wicket victory the previous day, a chase of 115 did not look to be anything to threaten the Texans and Easts would have to be satisfied with at least chipping out a couple of wickets before opener Matt Edmondson (74* off 53) and Bronson Meehan (8*) got the team well home.
O’Connell had got Central Stag Christian Leopard caught behind early and, after a brief interruption for a passing shower, Khan had got Izaiah Lange caught for a run-a-ball 25.
Too little, too late, however, at 86 for two, with Edmondson slamming six boundaries and five sixes as he carried his bat for another one-sided win that was completed in just 14.4 overs.
Napier Tech move across to the small number three ground tomorrow where they will meet St Albans in the third round, while Eastern Suburbs will look to break their duck against Dunedin's Green Island on the number one oval. All matches are free admission and live-scored from 10am at nzc.nz