An outright win by Southland Boys' High School in an excellent game of cricket played against Shirley Boys' High School.
The sun shone brightly as the cricket interschool got underway. In the 1st X1 match, Shirley batted first and were reeling at 58 for 5 with Gregor Rutledge steaming in, hitting the deck hard and causing havoc amongst the Shirley top order batsmen. With Lachie Riley operating in a miserly fashion and swinging the ball both ways Shirley were in real trouble at 111 for 7. An excellent partnership and an aggressive counter-attack by Douglas Bongartz (83) saw the visitors through to 194.
Gregor Rutledge 11 overs 4 for 29 , Lachie Riley 12 overs 3 for 54 and Charlie Hopcroft 2 for 47 were the pick of the bowlers.
At 5 for 2 Southland Boys’ High School were staring down the barrel of a rampant Shirley opening attack. Up stepped Zach Harrington and Nick Brown. Both players were driving and deflecting the ball well contributing to an excellent 60 run partnership before both players were dismissed. At 74 for 4, Zach (56) and Nick Brown (18), SBHS were in desperate need of another partnership. Mika Muliaina (18) gave a glimmer of hope but at 99 for 6 we were there for the knock out blow. To the crease marched Rutledge and Shahen Wijesinghe and they proceeded to dominate the Shirley attack, playing delightful cover drives and hitting any loose balls to the picket fences! Both were unbeaten at the close with Rutledge (49) and Wijesinghe (27). This saw SBHS reach 178 for 6.
An intriguing day 2 is promised and those of us who enjoy high drama need to grab a deck chair and watch the game unfold ball by ball.
Southland Boys’ High School Colts were playing in their first interschool for the first time in 2 years. A very young side with predominantly Year 9 boys were asked to bat first. The opening batsmen, Matthew Lamont and Carter Witheford showed real patience and sound shot selection to blunt the Shirley opening pace bowling attack. With an unfortunate run-out which saw Lamont dismissed, Jacob Brady and Witheford put together a fighting partnership and batted for over an hour to see us through to 40 for 2.
Manson hit powerfully and started to dominate. He played shots all around the wicket and raced to 49 before being dismissed. At 116 for 6 Alex Gwynne and Hopcroft put together an excellent 7th wicket partnership. With Gwynne occupying the crease and turning the strike over, this gave the hard-hitting Hopcroft the chance to up the tempo. Hopcroft (36) and Gwynne 32 saw SBHS dismissed for 229. An impressive team effort.
The wicket had flattened out under the relentless Southland sun when Shirley started their innings. Travis Mann and Hopcroft opened the attack for us. Bowling good lines and with good pace Shirley found it difficult to score runs. At 30 for 2 Shirley established an excellent 50 run 3rd wicket partnership. With the introduction of Jacob Brady and leg-spinner Witheford this partnership was broken. Witheford was turning the ball and with his wrong ‘un had the Shirley batsmen at sixes and sevens. At the close of play Shirley were 106 for 6.
A lead of 30 runs which was the result of some excellent batting from Gregor 59 and Shahen 53 saw us look to put Shirley under pressure in their second innings. And what pressure it was.
The opening bowlers Rutledge and Riley were on fire showing great control and bowling in that corridor of uncertainty. They hit the seam and had the ball talking as it flew past the bemused batsman. Gregor 1 for 3 and Lochie 3 for 21 demolished the top order who had no answer to this relentless new ball attack. Dylan Hawkes running in with great rhythm and bowling with real pace saw him deliver some unplayable deliveries. He had the batsman ducking and diving and his figures of 2 for 19 were impressive. The big left armer Charlie Hopcroft 2 for 11 and leg spinner Shahen Wijesinghe 2 for 5 mopped up the tail.
A feature was the catching which saw us take some screamers behind the wicket. Shirley all out for 60. Southland Boys’ needing 30 to win. Duncan Tait 26 smashed the bowlers to all parts of the ground in an onslaught and the runs were reached in 3 overs. An outright win to Southland Boys’ by 9 wickets.
A very good team performance.
With a lead of 60 odd, Southland Boys’ went into bat looking to establish a healthy lead and set Shirley a total to chase in the second innings. Angus Manson (40) opened the innings and went onto the attack. He dispatched any loose balls to the boundary. Carter Witheford (19) turning the strike over the fifty came up in quick fashion. Henry Hopcroft (28) continued the assault. Alex Gwynne (22) and Jacob Brady (31) kept the tempo up and Southland Boys’ declared leaving Shirley 237 to win.
Travis Mann and Henry Hopcroft opened the bowling and Mann today was certainly a ‘Mann on a mission’. He destroyed the Shirley opening batsman and ripped the heart out of the middle order catapulting himself onto the honours board. His 5 for 8 was superb. Hopcroft 3 for 34 Hugh Dermody 1 for 7 and Carter Witheford 1 for 3 all bowled well and Shirley were dismissed for 108.
An outright win to Southland Boys’ by 125 runs.
A very sound team performance and one the young boys can be proud of.