Houghton shows the way for Taita

MARK GEENTY
Last updated 05:00 26/11/2012

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Despite a dominant all-round performance which led Taita into the top four, skipper Mark Houghton says the jury remains out on how well his team is playing in Wellington premier cricket.

Houghton scored 104, his third club century, then took 3-33 with his left-arm spin as Taita dispatched bottom-placed Wainuiomata by 154 runs in a Ewen Chatfield Cup 50-over match on Saturday.

It saw Taita move into the top four on the points table, joining leaders Karori, Eastern Suburbs and University after five rounds.

Houghton could hardly have downplayed his efforts more.

"It was OK. I was the benefactor of a bit of luck; Wainui had a few players unavailable so circumstances worked in my favour a bit."

On his young side's current form, Houghton said: "It's difficult to judge because the way the draw's worked we haven't played anyone who's been ranked above us.

"Easts and Karori are both on our side of the draw but next week we have Naenae and I think Wellington players will be available so certainly we'll be tested against Jesse [Ryder] and Grant [Elliott]."

Houghton batted at No 3 as Taita racked up 293-9, with opener Sam Le Gros' 45 the next best, then they dismissed Wainui for 139.

All six games on Saturday saw bonus point victories, with Karori, Easts, Upper Hutt, Onslow and Johnsonville the other sides to dominate.

The latter claimed their first win of the season, inspired by Firebirds all-rounder Luke Woodcock, who took 5-25 with his left-arm spin.

Johnsonville scored 200, then dismissed North City for 102 in 34.2 overs. Seth Rance backed up Woodcock with the ball, taking 3-18.

Karori lead Easts by one point after they beat Collegians by 127 runs. Chris Spring topscored with 55 in Karori's 289-8, then Jarrad Sewell and Fraser Quarterman took three wickets apiece as Collegians perished for 162.

Easts scored 194 but it was enough for a 77-run win over Naenae who languish alongside Wainui at the foot of the ladder.

Jamie Gibson topscored with 52 then skipper Lance Dry took 4-24 as Naenae folded for 117.

Upper Hutt's Matt Taylor blazed 73 not out as they chased down Hutt District's 142 with ease to win by seven wickets. Daniel Henderson led a disciplined Upper Hutt bowling effort with 3-14 from nine overs.

Onslow comfortably defended 193-8 against Petone-Eastbourne, winning by 53 runs with Peter Vorster (3-26) their most successful bowler.

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- The Dominion Post

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