Papatoetoe in with a chance
Papatoetoe's bowlers are the key to a first innings win over Grafton United on the final day of their Auckland club cricket two-day match at Victoria Park on Saturday.
They have nine wickets to get after Gareth Shaw snared the dangerous Guy Coleman with the fourth ball of the opening over.
But they will need quick early wickets to put a stranglehold on the race for first innings points because their 218-run tally does not give them much to defend.
But Papatoetoe manager John Lee thinks his team's 218 could be a challenge on a Victoria Park wicket where runs are hard to come by.
"It might just be enough on this wicket.
"We've played on it before and it's traditionally not a high-scoring wicket," he says.
"We were hoping to get around 240 or 250.
"On that wicket 250 would have been a score our bowlers could defend.
"But we were lucky to get what we did. We were looking at a score of only 170-180 at one stage with the score at 166 for eight."
Lee says Stu Money and Ben Roborgh, two members of the team's young brigade, stepped up and stood their ground. Their partnership was broken on 213, with Money scoring the bulk of the runs with 37.
Lee says that got last year's Hedley Howarth Trophy runners-up out of jail.
Newly promoted Grafton were happy with their bowlers.
They put the clamps on the Papatoetoe batting and allowed just four Papatoetoe batsmen past the 30-run mark.
Frustratingly for Papatoetoe no-one could go on to convert their starts into really big scores.
Caleb Brookland headed the pack before being dismissed just one short of a half-century.
Scoreboard: Papatoetoe 218 (Caleb Brookland 49, Stu Money 37, Gareth Shaw 31) v Grafton United 5/1 after day one.