United aim for playoffs
New Plymouth Marist United are on track for the national interprovincial one-day playoffs.
The New Plymouth side cruised to a six-wicket win over Wanganui United at Victoria Park in Whanganui on Saturday to advance to the next stage of the knockout competition in Palmerston North on February 2 and 3.
The four regional winners from Central Districts will clash, and the winner heads to the nationals in Auckland in April.
The other teams have yet to be decided, with the top Hawke's Bay team playing the top Wairarapa team, Manawatu's top club team up against Levin's top side and the winner of the match involving the top two teams from Nelson and Marlborough.
"The guys played really well," United captain Ryan Fleming said.
"Wanganui won the toss and batted and got off to a good start.
"[Bowler] Leith [Johnston] was outstanding when he came on at first change."
Wanganui finished with 226-8 off their 50 overs, thanks to a solid innings of 87 from opener Max Carroll. Johnston was the pick of the Marist bowlers with 3-35, while Sam Barrett took 2-52.
Marist wasted little time in the run chase, with openers Dean Robinson and Jason Meuli punishing any loose deliveries.
The pair put on 96 for the first wicket, with Meuli out for 57. Robinson finished with 75.
Johnston capped off a good day with a valuable 21, with Fleming unbeaten on 61 to guide his side through to 231-4.
Scorers: Page 18
Taranaki Daily News