With all-rounder Arana Noema-Barnett leading the charge, the Palmerston North Boys' High School first XI are in with a sniff of winning the Gillette Cup in Lincoln.
Noema-Barnett has been opening the batting, bowling and has had a stint at keeping wicket during the national finals at the weekend, with Boys' High recording two wins and a loss. Noema-Barnett has scored 47, 56 and 38, as well as taking two wickets in both the games his team has won. Boys' High beat Otago Boys' High School by 43 runs on Thursday, and their game against King's College on Friday was rained off. They lost to Hutt Valley High School by 24 runs on Saturday before bouncing back to beat Christchurch Boys' High School by 25 runs yesterday. Palmerston North needed results to go their way in the final round today as they were to play St Peter's School (Cambridge) and the unbeaten King's were to play Christchurch. Boys' High needed to beat St Peter's and hope Christchurch got up over King's, which could hand the title to Palmerston North.
Against Hutt Valley, Boys' High had them out for 229 and despite being 118 without loss, they had a huge collapse to be all out for 205.
Openers Tiago Jahufer with 61 and Noema-Barnett with 56 were going well but after that only one batsman made it into double figures.
They had a good opening partnership but did not score quickly enough and that came back to bite them as they needed to accelerate but instead lost wickets.
Against Christchurch, Boys' High made 214 all out with Noema-Barnett the top-scorer on 47 while Cameron Rowe (22), Hayden Hill (23), Sam Wilson (22), Navin Patel (26) and Scott Mitchell (25) all chipped in before bowling Christchurch out for 189. Wicketkeeper Hill handed over the gloves to Noema-Barnett once he had bowled his 10, and cleaned out the lower order, taking four for 39 from 8.3 overs with his left-arm mediums.
Hutt Valley High School 229 (Jarrod Pike 61, Sushant Balajee 60) beat PNBHS 205 (T Jahufer 61, A Noema-Barnett 56) by 24 runs.
PNBHS 214 (A Noema-Barnett 47; Jeremy Benton 3-51) beat Christchurch BHS 189 (Tim Braid 67; Hayden Hill 4-39) by 25 runs.
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