Weather could have final say for cricketers

Last updated 09:05 21/11/2012

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Three sides - Wellington College, Hutt Valley High School and Scots College - remain in contention for the premier one cricket final with just one round of qualifying games remaining.

The final round of one-day matches will be played on Saturday, with the clash between Wellington College and Hutt Valley the key game.

The winner of that game will be guaranteed a place in the final with the loser missing out, provided Scots can beat the Wellington College second XI.

However, if the Wellington-Hutt Valley match is washed out, both teams are likely to go through to the final. The first scheduled clash between the teams, in term one, was washed out as was their Twenty20 match last weekend.

Wellington will be keen to make the one-day final after failing to qualify for the national Gillette Cup final, while Hutt Valley will want to demonstrate that they will be worthy Gillette representatives for the region.

Hutt Valley have a consistent bowling attack and will look to left-arm pace bowler Mitchell Blucher, who was severely hampered by injury last summer, to make an early breakthrough.

Hutt Valley have also topped 250 in their two one-day matches this term and Jarrod Pike and Sushant Balajee have been among the bigger runscorers in the premier one grade.

Skipper Rakitha Weerasundara and Nik Swain will be key top order batsmen for Wellington College, who have a variety of bowling options and will back themselves to restrict the run rate.

Scots should have an edge over the Wellington College second XI, though the Wellington side have shown sharp improvement this term, after struggling in the opening half of the season.

Wellington beat Hutt International in a one-day game last month, reached 198 in a losing cause against Hutt Valley and had a win over St Pat's Silverstream in a Twenty20 match last weekend.

Scots suffered their first loss in the Twenty20 format last weekend, when beaten by Wellington College. Scots, who batted first, lost early wickets and a total of 106, with Josh Lawrence getting to 48, looked below par on the Scots block.

Wellington also lost a couple of early wickets but Weerasundara and Swain took them to safety with a 77-run partnership, with Weerasundara making 60.

Zac Hamilton was 69 not out when St Pat's Town beat Onslow in their Twenty20 clash, with spinner Akila Jayanetti taking 4-6 from his four overs for Town.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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