Manawatu blew the early-season cobwebs out with a 145-run win over Wanganui at the Chapple Cup tournament in Napier yesterday.
The first-round win in the one-day competition put them through to the second round today, in which they were likely to face Nelson after yesterday's results.
After losing the toss and being put in by Wanganui, Manawatu made the most of it as they pushed on to 303 for five thanks to half centuries from Roald Badenhorst, Mitch Renwick and Dave Meiring.
Badenhorst exploded, smashing an unbeaten 93 from 49 balls, including nine sixes.
Renwick scored 71 and Meiring 53 as they were largely untroubled by the Wanganui attack.
In reply, Wanganui didn't threaten and were all out for 158 as Henry Collier with 46 and Dominic Rayner with 38 were the only Wanganui batsmen to put up a fight, while the rest were dismissed relatively easily.
Seamer Phil Mecredy was the pick of the bowlers, taking four for 32, and the next best was leg-spinner Tarun Nethula, who bowled well on debut for Manawatu, snaring three for 30.
Bevan Small, Navin Patel and Badenhorst all picked up a wicket each.
Nelson beat Horowhenua-Kapiti by 56 runs in their first-round match and were to meet Manawatu today as the top-seeded winners.
Manawatu should expect to beat Nelson as they target a spot in the final, which should be a showdown with Hawke's Bay, who thrashed Wairarapa by nine wickets yesterday.
The losing teams yesterday qualify to play in the second-tier Cave Cup.
Manawatu 303-5 (Roald Badenhorst 93*, Mitch Renwick 71, Dave Meiring 53, Dane Cleaver 33, Arana Noema-Barnett 20; Fraser Kinnerly 2-40) beat Wanganui 158 (Henry Collier 46, Dominic Rayner 38; Phil Mecredy 4-32, Tarun Nethula 3-30) by 145 runs.
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