Another blow for competition leaders Metro

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 03/03/2014

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The Metro Tigers and Marist both crashed to embarrassing losses in Southland's senior club cricket one-day competition on Saturday as Appleby and Southland Boys' High School hit form at the perfect stage of the season.

Metro had been unbeaten through the first eight rounds of the competition but have slumped to losses in the past two weeks with Saturday's showdown with Appleby the worst of them.

Metro won the toss and elected to bowl first on the grass pitch at Appleby and had the home team on the ropes at six for 60 which could have been worse if it wasn't for a stubborn 27 from opener Jamie Clark.

However, Mark Ross (47 not out) and Mahesh Shanmugdasan (21) led the fightback as Appleby got through to 122 for nine.

Ross and No 11 Scott Donaldson then teamed up to put on 37 for the last wicket to push the score to 159 from their 50 overs.

The Appleby bowlers then took the reins and Metro at no stage looked any hope in reply.

Opening bowlers Rick Harding and Ross gave little away at the start before Bibhas Biswas and Calum Johnstone took over to between them take seven wickets for 24 from 10.5 overs.

Opener Hamish Cooke (23) was the only batsman to get a start as competition leaders Metro were humbled by being bowled out for just 63.

Marist's slim semifinal hopes were dashed when they suffered a similar type of defeat against Southland Boys' High School.

Southland Boys' racked up 201 for seven batting first, which was set up by player/coach Craig Smith's knock of 86.

A couple of good 10-over spells from Jackson Wallace (10-2-27-4) and Mark Hamilton (10-0-34-2), as well as another good showing from teenage leg-spinner Jayden Watson (7-0-27-1) made for a relatively pleasing performance from the Marist bowlers.

However, despite having Southland Hawke Cup batsmen Shaun Fitzgibbon and Sam Ward in the mix it was with the bat where it all went wrong for Marist.

In their attempt to chase down the 202 needed for victory Marist were skittled for just 58.

Smith backed up his efforts with the bat to take three early wickets that rocked Marist.

Sam Rodden, Mick McCallum and Bailey Andrews also gave little away as the Marist batsmen had no answer.

Albion also grabbed a crunch win over Waikoikoi on Saturday in the tight race for playoff spots.

Waikoikoi had made a positive start batting first at Hamilton Park with Grant Anderson (33) and Blair McKenzie (29) putting on 43 for the first wicket.

However, they lost three wickets for just five runs and from there Waikoikoi never really recovered and were eventually bowled out for 126.

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When the Waikoikoi bowlers got stuck into their work to reduce Albion to 48 for five they had put themselves in a strong position.

Mark Hunter (40) and Grant Gutschlag (42*) settled proceedings for Albion and played the key roles in getting their team home for a win with two wickets and 15 overs to spare.

Hunter and Gutschlag were the only Albion players to make it to double figures.

- The Southland Times

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