Scots strike form as NZ finals loom

TIM BARTON
Last updated 09:05 27/11/2013

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College Sport

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Scots College will head to the national cricket stage after achieving their immediate local target.

The Scots first XI ensured they would avoid the premier one promotion-relegation matches with a comprehensive win over Onslow College at the weekend.

It was also a confidence-booster going into the national Gillette Cup finals, which begin at Lincoln on December 9.

Scots, who will be making their first appearance in the finals, will be joined by Whangarei Boys', Otago Boys' and defending champions Christchurch Boys', as well as fellow first-timers Lindisfarne and Mt Albert Grammar.

Scots, who won the Wellington premier one final in 2011 and were the beaten finalists last year, have been a Jekyll and Hyde team this year.

They beat Wellington College and Hutt Valley to make the Gillette finals and have been the only side to beat Hutt International in premier one this term.

On the other hand, they have lost nine of their 14 premier one games and, going into last weekend, were in seventh place in the eight-team competition.

However, the signs were encouraging in the 78-run win over Onslow. Four batsmen topped 30 and another made 27 as Scots scored 232 in 50 overs and five bowlers shared the wickets to dismiss Onslow for 164 in 41 overs.

"It hasn't been an easy year but the boys dug deep on Saturday," Scots coach Christie van Dyk said.

In addition, gifted all-rounder Josh Lawrence, who has done little bowling this year because of a shoulder injury, returned to the bowling crease, taking 2-28 from seven overs with his offspinners.

"He's a little bit underdone but we hope we can get five or six overs a game out of him at Gillette," van Dyk said.

Spinners traditionally do well at Lincoln and Scots can also call on legspinner Chander Ravi, left- armer Kyle Tonks and offspinner Shaun Bishop. "Chander bowls consistently well and is picking up wickets every week, Kyle is usually hard to get away and Shaun is learning and has a great attitude." van Dyk said.

Lawrence, who leads the side, will also have a key role with the bat and the side has plenty of batting depth, with Ravi, Joseph Bowden and Campbell Paton in the middle order.

Ravi is a form player after starring for the Wellington under-20 team in the premier club competition in the past two weekends, scoring 92 against Eastern Suburbs and 75 against Naenae.

Wellington schools do not have a good Gillette record, winning the tournament just twice since it began in 1990, the last time in 2001.

- This is the last College Sport report for the year. College Sport resumes on Feburary 12.

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- The Dominion Post

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