Gillette Cup finals open with a bang

The prestigious 2013 Gillette Cup Cricket Championship has opened in sunny conditions at the New Zealand Cricket (NZC) High Performance Centre (HPC) at Lincoln University today.

Now in its 24th year, the Gillette Cup is synonymous with secondary school cricket with over 200 schools entering the 2013 competition. Preliminary rounds in the six major cricket associations each produced regional winners who have advanced to this year’s finals.

Round one results

Christchurch Boys’ High School vs Mt Albert Grammar

First time Gillette Cup finalists Mt Albert Grammar took on last year’s winner Christchurch Boys’ High School on the Bert Sutcliffe Oval. Mt Albert got the better of the defending champions though, overcoming them by 56 runs.

Batting first, Mt Albert scored a respectable 228 for seven. Captain, Aditya Dhadwal led from the front with a top score of 68 off 96 balls, while Jared Donnell was next best with 54. Christchurch Boys’ High School captain, Jeremy Benton was the best of the bowlers, clocking up four wickets for 33 runs.

Coming out to bat, Christchurch Boys’ High School lost three early wickets. The late order batsmen put up a good fight but they fell short and were all out for 172 after 45.2 overs.

Scots College vs Whangarei Boys’ High School

Scots College proved too strong for Whangarei Boys’ High School racing to an eight wicket victory after 27.2 overs. Scots College’s three spin bowlers - Shaun Bishop, Josh Lawrence and Chander Ravi – caused all sorts of trouble for the Whangarei Boys’ batsmen.

“We dominated through the middle overs with the spin, and we were able to restrict them and build pressure” says Scots College Captain Josh Lawrence.

Ravi and Lawrence proved to be just as useful with the bat, each scoring a half-century and helping the team cruise home with 23 overs to spare.

Lawrence summed up the team’s thoughts: “We were a bit worried coming in but after today we know we can compete with top teams in New Zealand. It’ll boost everyone's confidence and hopefully will carry on for the next few days.”

Lindisfarne College v Otago Boys’ High School

Lindisfarne College was up against Otago Boys’ High School, with the southerners making their 11th appearance at the tournament. However, they were unable to overcome Lindisfarne, who chased down their total of 203 with four wickets in hand.

Lindisfarne College team manager, Kirk Doyle, says the boys were “overjoyed” to get through to the Gillette Cup Finals: “This is a huge moment for our kids and a real honour for our school.”

Otago won the toss, opting to bat first and scoring 203, with the tenth wicket falling in the last over.

Lindersfarne captain Dominic Thompson will be one to watch, top-scoring with an unbeaten 87. Otago Boys’ High School’s Luke Le Brun also impressed with a remarkable spell with the ball, taking four wickets for 22 runs.

The competition will continue to unfold over the next four days with each team playing each other once in a round robin format.

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