The North Island domination of indoor cricket continued at the 2019 ICNZ Senior Provincial Championships this past weekend in Palmerston North, and it was Wellington who reaped the greatest rewards, claiming two of the three grades being played out at the Palmerston North Indoor Sports Arena.
The Wasps were victorious in the Premier Men and Under-22 Boys’ grades, whilst Auckland got one back for the Blues as they took out the Premier Women’s grade.
In the Men’s final, an experienced Wellington side with a number of New Zealand players in their ranks overcame a spirited Northern Districts outfit. The teams had previously fought to a thrilling 82-all tie in their major semi-final clash which saw Northern advance on greater skins attained. Wellington overcame Auckland in the major semi-final after they had accounted for Canterbury in the minor semi-final following the single round-robin format. 85 runs in the first three pairs set the platform for Wellington as Northern struggled for traction in the field, only claiming a single wicket. They rallied back in the last pair to claim two more, but by then Wellington had set them an ominous 96 to win. This was always going to be a tough ask and they were reduced to 30 after eight overs following two-wicket hauls for Bryce Fellows and Paul Bascand. Ben Saunders joined in and Fellows took one more in a player of the final performance as an attritional effort in the field saw Wellington take a 26-run win and claim the Cup title.
The Women’s final was dubbed the battle of the North as Auckland did battle with close rivals Northern Districts. Auckland had gotten the better of Northern twice during round-robin play on their way to the final, whilst losing the solitary match to Wellington, in a grade which also featured the Wellington Under-22 Girls side. Northern’s only losses came against Auckland and they were up for the contest coming into the grand final, with the first and second placed teams advancing straight through. Gemma Adams claimed a brace in the very first over of the match, but Northern fought back to post 32 after eight overs. They rallied in the last two pairs, with the Bowden sisters, Alyssa and Skye, closing with 24 to set Auckland a competitive 74 to win. Auckland however came out strongly in the chase and Northern were not able to contain their momentum. 65 runs were scored in the middle eight over period, with Roz McNeill and Katherine Spence (29) and Regina Lilii and Pam Yates (36) bringing Auckland into the lead by the end of the third pair. They closed out well to record a 26-run win and become Premier Women’s champions.
The Under-22 Boys final went completely against the script as first placed Wellington faced up against second placed Canterbury, following a double round-robin. Canterbury had gotten the better of their Wellington counterparts in both group matches, whilst narrowly falling to Auckland and Northern earlier on. A close match-up was on the cards, but Wellington turned the match on its head, blasting 139 in their 16 overs batting first. Skipper Daniel Pile (28) and MVP Matthew Scoble (14) hit 42 in the first pair before Rogan Vekony and Regan Craig backed it up with 41 as Wellington had sauntered to 83 by the half-way mark of the innings. Canterbury managed to contain the damage in the latter stages of the innings, but Kyle Burns claimed their only wicket in the penultimate over. It left the Cantabrians with an imposing 140 to win. This was always going to be a tough ask and the Red and Blacks had no option but to chance their arm in the chase. It didn’t come off unfortunately with Keller McDonald claiming two wickets in the first over of the innings. Skipper Josh Dyer made 16 but the Wellington bowlers continued to make inroads. claiming 16 wickets in all; Josh Driscoll taking three in the penultimate over whilst Craig also claimed a treble. It resulted in a 114-run win for the Wasps and the Under-22 Boys’ title.
The conclusion of the tournament saw New Zealand teams named for the five-match home series against Australia at the same venue from 12-14 September.
Full results are available at the following link: http://nzis.spawtz.com/ActionController/LeagueList?VenueId=12
Here is a summary of how things panned out over the three days of competition:
(1) PREMIER MEN:
CUP WINNER: Wellington
Runners-Up: Northern Districts
GRAND FINAL RESULT: Wellington 95 def. Northern Districts 69
Score: Wellington 95 (Butler 17, Saunders 17, Joll 2/3, Jackett 0/8) def. Northern Districts 69 (Rush 16, Welsford 13, Fellows 3/-9, Bascand 3/1) by 26 runs
PLATE WINNER: Southern Districts
Plate Final: Southern Districts 84 def. Canterbury 82
Score: Southern Districts 84 (McKay 15, Meade 14, Vann 1/7, Campbell 1/7) def. Canterbury 82 (James 21, M Gardner 15, Bartholomew 2/-2, Meade 1/6) by 2 runs
Final standings after round-robin play: Northern Districts 30, Wellington 26, Canterbury 25, Auckland 20, Central Districts 14, Southern Districts 5
Wellington – Kieran Butler
Northern Districts – Dion Joll
Auckland – Joshua Tautari
Canterbury – Carl Hooper
Central Districts – Jack Craig
Southern Districts – Corey Perrett
OVERALL MVP: Kieran Butler (Wellington)
(2). PREMIER WOMEN:
Runners-Up: Northern Districts
GRAND FINAL RESULT: Northern Districts 73 lost to Auckland 99
Score: Northern Districts 73 (A Bowden 13, Van Tillburg 13, Lilii 2/-2, Adams 2/1) lost to Auckland 99 (Lilii 22, Spence 16, S Bowden 1/1, Van Tillburg 1/9) by 26 runs
Final standings after double-round-robin play: Auckland 54, Northern Districts 44, Wellington 33, Canterbury 22, Wellington Under-22 7
Auckland – Lucille Matthews
Northern Districts – Amberley Parr
Wellington – Melanie Driescher
Canterbury – Amy Rendel
Wellington Under-22 – Hannah Kells
OVERALL MVP: Lucille Matthews (Auckland)
(3). UNDER-22 BOYS:
GRAND FINAL RESULT: Wellington 139 def. Canterbury 25
Score: Wellington 139 (Pile 28, Vekony 22, Burns 1/13, Dyer 0/14) def. Canterbury 25 (Dyer 16, Watt 8, Driscoll 4/-8, Craig 3/-7) by 114 runs
Final standings after double-round-robin play: Wellington 45, Canterbury 44, Central Districts 27, Auckland 24, Northern Districts 20
Wellington – Matthew Scoble
Canterbury – Charlie Finnie
Auckland – Tristen Van Ingen-Kal
Central Districts – Baylee Foote
Northern Districts – Jack Shimmin
OVERALL MVP: Matthew Scoble (Wellington)