All clubs still in running for finals

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THERE are four more rounds of Southland club cricket with all six clubs still in contention for the finals of the 50-over Premier League.

This Saturday, Appleby hosts Waikoikoi, while at the Queens Park grounds Old Boys play Marist, and Metropolitan take on Southland Boys High School.

With most of the province’s best players on representative duty last weekend, two recently retired Southland players, Jason Osborne and Shaun Fitzgibbon, dominated club cricket.

On Queens Park’s second field Osborne helped Metropolitan inflict the first loss of the season on Waikoikoi. Metro batted first and set an imposing 285-9 from 50 overs. Opener Isaac Fleury made 37 runs and Andrew Armour, 62. The next four batsmen all made double figures to set a platform for all-rounder Osborne to score 59 runs from 50 balls.

Waikoikoi was without frontline bowlers Kurt Thompson and Liam McFaul but Nick Reed did well with 3-57.

Waikoikoi could then only muster 157 runs before being bowled out in the 38th over. Middle-order batsmen Rhuebyn Prattley (35), Parth Nagpal (45) and Blair McKenzie (23) showed some resolve.

The defending champions Marist won its first 50-over game of the season against Southland Boys’ High School (SBHS) by 101 runs. Marist batted first and worked to 219-9 with the experienced Shaun Fitzgibbon holding the innings together with 105 runs. Blake Harper (26) and Alec Mathieson (20) were the only other double-figure scorers. The best of the SBHS bowlers was Reid Murray who finished with 3-44 from 10 overs; Murray also initiated the run-out of Fitzgibbon. Aaron Hart had taken two wickets and then opened the batting and was the eighth man out with 49 runs.

Invercargill Old Boys tipped over Appleby by 72 runs. Old Boys scored 246-7 from its 50 overs. Sam Nicholson top-scored and was unbeaten on 83, Blair McKenzie lifted the tempo with 61 runs off 50 balls. Cody McKenzie was the other significant contributor with 51 runs. Nicholson was also the best of the bowlers; taking three wickets for 48 runs from his 10 overs.

In Division One, Central Western got back on track with an easy win over Wyndale in Winton. Wyndale was skittled for 77, with Ashleigh Harrison taking four wickets for four runs from six overs.

Saturday’s draw: ILT Premier League: Metropolitan v SBHS QP2, Appleby v Waikoikoi, Old Boys v Marist QP1. Division One: Old Boys B v Blue Mountain, Wyndale v Appleby B, Te Anau v CW B v Albion. Division Two: v Marist B v Riversdale, Metro B v SBHS B, Waikoikoi B v bye.

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