Players arrived to Sladden Park for thePremier Reserve grade opening round match between Karori and Petone-Eastbourneto a scene that screamed early season Wellington club cricket. An artificial wicketwith small boundaries, and rugby length grass in the outfield.
With all that considered Simon Baker wonthe first toss of the season and decided to send Petone-Eastbourne into bat.Mitch Butler claimed two early wickets, and Issac Harris trucked into a strongheadwind for a short but effective spell which also brought a wicket. Withtight bowling and a few early scalps, the home side were off to a slow start anddid not manage to score a boundary until the 25th over.
After Kaori’s fast start Petone-Eastbourne’smiddle order started to dig in and the bowling sides momentum started to falter.This all changed when Brett Dransfield was introduced into the attack andproduced a textbook display of how to bowl into a tough Wellington wind. Dransfieldtook two wickets and forced many play and misses in his first few overs. Thencame the drinks break which allowed him a bit of respite before he continuedhis work into the wind to bowl his ten overs on the trot and finish withextraordinary figures of four wickets for 14 runs off 10 overs.
Josh Mackinnon and Dan Pile then picked upone and two wickets respectively, the last of which was a stumping thanks to somesharp work behind the stumps for Zank Desai, Desai’s 3rd dismissalof the day. Petone-Eastbourne were all out for 123 in the 44th overwith Dhvanil Gandhi scoring 41 and Leigh Kelly with 37 the high scores for thePetone-Eastbounre side.
After lunch you could be forgiven forthinking the the grass had been mown between the innings break as the boundariesflowed right from the get go. Two first over boundaries from Edward Wright gotKarori off to a fast start chasing the small total of 124 to win. Once Ed’sopening partner Simon Baker dusted off a few early season cobwebs and gotamongst the boundaries things looked in control.
The good opening stand of 59 runs endedwith the dismissal of Simon Baker for 20 but at this stage Karori were alreadyhalf way to the total. James Banecivich joined Wright and they put on another15 before Ed Wright was a caught for a good innings of 41 off 60 balls whichincluded eight fours.
Josh Mackinnon then joined Banecivich tofinish off the run chase, all be it in perhaps a more conservative fashion thansome on the sideline had hoped for. Banecivich finished with a well played 46not out, and Mackinnon was also not out with five runs next to his name.