Cleaver cuts loose for Freyberg
A sparkling century from Manawatu player Dane Cleaver and some lusty hitting down the order powered Freyberg to an "epic win" over United in two-day club cricket on Saturday.
Set 314 to win off 52 overs, Cleaver set the tone for his team by hitting 110 on a flat Manawaroa pitch.
With Cleaver ably assisted by Luke Murray (61) Dave Fulton (64) and an audacious 63 not out from Duan White, Freyberg chased down the unlikely target with four wickets and nine balls to spare.
Cleaver said he had been feeling good but had not been firing until last week.
"I definitely would have rather got them last weekend in the Hawke Cup challenge. I was in that mindset you know, I felt like I should have got runs, but for some reason I just got myself out. This week I've had a bit of time in the middle and it came together."
Cleaver said the game was "as good as it gets in club cricket".
"We had a pretty good batting lineup but to chase that total down, pretty much everyone would have written us off. It was a bit of an epic win really."
The unlikely outright was made possible by a bold early declaration.
Behind by 96 in the first innings at the end of the first day, Freyberg advanced the game by declaring immediately at 140-4, gifting United first innings points.
After that move paid off at the end of the day, you could only feel sorry for United's Jason McGregor, who put United in a position of power with an unbeaten century of his own but it was all in vain.
Several United bowlers took tap but Matt Ball had the dubious honour of conceding 100 runs off his bowling in just 12 overs.
Marist welcomed back four Manawatu representatives but were unable to prevent Palmerston passing their first innings score of 252-6 with just one wicket remaining.
Navin Patel took his first wickets for Marist and knocked over the tail with 4-25, but a lone hand of 71 from Robert Sheary got Palmerston to 259.
At 163-9 in their second innings Marist were in serious danger of losing outright before an 80-run last-wicket stand between Patel and Matt Wells made the game safe.
Needing 236 for an outright win from just 21 overs, Palmerston played for batting points and reached 80-4 at the close.
After a strong first day last weekend Palmerston North Boys' High School's first XI finished Old Boys off in style.
They wrapped up a 51-run first-innings lead early in the day but struggled with the bat, limping through to 131 all out.
Bryn Templeman was superb for Old Boys, knocking back the poles four times in taking 6-28.
Defending 182, an inspired all-round performance in the field by Boys' High was too much for Old Boys, who crumbled to 115 all out.
Arana Noema-Barnett was particularly impressive, bowling 20 overs in succession to finish with figures of 3-54 while Jack Leenards (3-4) wrapped up an impressive game by polishing off the tail.
Scores from two-day games:-
Freyberg 140-4 decl and 316-6 (Dane Cleaver 110, Dave Fulton 64, Duan White 63*, Luke Murray 61) beat United 236-6 decl and 216 (Jason McGregor 100*; Karl Wagner 3-41) by 4 wkts.
Marist 252-6 decl and 243 (Navin Patel 43* Mitchell Renwick 40; Benn Dixon 4-35) drew with Palmerston 259 (Robert Sheary 71; Navin Patel 4-25) and 80-4.
PNBHS 205 and 131 (Bryn Templeman 6-28) beat Old Boys 154 and 115 (Arana Noema-Barnett 3-54, Jack Leenards 3-4) by 67 runs.