Leeston-Southbridge are victors in the CRV Ambreed Country Premier T20 competition after the Saturday’s semi-finals and final victories.
The Leeston-Southbridge vs Weedons semi-final at Rangiora’s Mainpower Oval fizzled out after Weedons dug themselves a hole losing their top four batsmen for 11 runs between them. Some loose shots and poor running between the wickets brought about their downfall and when club stalwart Paul Rugg was dismissed cheaply, they found themselves 5-21.
Youngster Lachie Stove showed a little resistance, but wickets kept tumbling at the other end. Weedons eventually were bundled out for 59. Opening bowler Tom Burt had outstanding figures of 3-7 off 4 overs. In reply, Leeston-Southbridge knocked off the runs with ease, the small chase taking them just 11 overs.
The second semi-final between Cheviot and Oxford-Rangiora took place at a damp Dudley Park, which meant the game was reduced to a 13 over match. Cheviot batted first and came out swinging. Although they too were quickly in trouble at 3-10 with Oxford Rangiora’s Josh Mariu taking three early wickets with his left arm off spin. Chris Burnett batting at number three held the Cheviot innings together with a quick fire 33 off 19 balls. While Pete Rayner batting at number 7 added 22 off 15 balls to see Cheviot through to a competitive 93/7 off their 13 overs.
Mark Murphy was the most economical of the Oxford-Rangiora bowlers, taking 2-14 off his three overs. In reply Oxford-Rangiora started slowly due to some good new ball bowling from Ben Rayner and Chris Burnett. NZ Under 19 batsmen Rhys Mariu opened the batting and scored a run a ball 33. None of the other Oxford-Rangiora batsmen could get going at the other end, resulting in them falling 18 runs short.
The Leeston-Southbridge vs Cheviot final was then played the same afternoon at Mainpower Oval. Cheviot won the toss and elected to bat on the same pitch that was used for the earlier semi-final. Their innings started shakily with Ted Whelan and Chris Burnett both being dismissed early by ex-Nelson rep player Tim Field. Country top order rep batsmen Ben Hartland managed to form a 41 run partnership with George Waddy, although boundaries were few and far between thanks to some tight bowling from Leeston- Southbridge. When Waddy was stumped off the bowling of Will Macfarlane the wobbles returned to Cheviot, losing wickets at regular intervals for the rest of their innings. Ben Hartland’s 59 off 57 balls saving their blushes with Cheviot posting a mediocre 7-103 off their 20 overs. Field was the most economical Leeston-Southbridge bowler with figures of 2-14 off four overs.
In reply, Country rep batsmen Rupert Young and Canterbury ‘A’ keeper-batsmen Joel Harden started solidly as thick drizzle descended on Mainpower Oval. Harden played a rash shot when he reached 23 to be dismissed off the bowling of Scott Burnett. Country rep batsmen Harry Chamberlain joined Young to take the score through to 1-54 off 8 over. At this point the umpires called for the covers as the drizzle became heavier rain. At the time Leeston-Southbridge were well ahead of the Duckworth Lewis par score so were announced as victors once the match was abandoned.