OBC's victory seals trip north

MATT RICHENS
Last updated 05:00 17/12/2012
OBC
KIRK HARGREAVES/FAIRFAX NZ
ON YOUR WAY: Canterbury Country bowler Daniel Fleming celebrates the dismissal of St Albans batsman James O’Gorman in Christchurch yesterday.

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Old Boys Collegians will represent Canterbury at the end-of-season national club cricket championship, thanks to a 25-run semifinal win yesterday.

Because their opponents in Sunday's club final, Canterbury Country, are ineligible to attend the six-team tournament in Auckland as they are a representative side, OBC will head north.

Last year's Canterbury representative St Albans and previous national club championship winners East Shirley were both beaten in semifinal play yesterday.

OBC's 274-6 proved too rich for Easts at Elmwood Park, while Saints were skittled for 139 by Country who reached their target with more than 13 overs to spare and five wickets in hand at Ilam Fields.

OBC couldn't have asked for a better start with a club-record first wicket partnership of 185 setting up their big total.

Captain Joel Abraham, who has had a quiet year by his standards, wrestled early momentum away from the East Shirley bowlers, scoring a fine, run-a-ball century.

He faced 105 balls for his 104 which included 16 boundaries, but Easts gave the OBC skipper a life when they put down a dolly with him on 24.

He and Abhi Shrinkhande (74) found the boundary easily and their 185-run opening stand, in 32 overs should have meant 330-plus was on the cards.

Easts bounced back well. Where 24 boundaries were scored in the first 30 overs, just five more were scored in the last 20 as OBC finished their innings at 274-6.

It was still a handy score, but when Easts openers Tim Papps and Craig Stevens (43) added 76 for the first wicket, the home side might have been getting concerned about the runs they missed out on.

They needn't have worried; Papps' 77 was the perfect anchor knock but he didn't have enough support.

Hamish Teale swung for a while, but his 39, and Ryan Burson's late 35, were the only contributions of note from an under-performing middle order.

Of course, OBC did bowl well too, with wickets shared. Logan van Beek was economical taking 1-38 from 10, while brother, Courtney, took 2-31 and Ben Bellamy 2-39.

OBC will meet Country in next Sunday's final after Country out-thought and out-played St Albans.

Controlled bowling and restrictive fields led to a number of St Albans' batsmen throwing their wickets away.

James O'Gorman was the top scorer with 31 as Country strangled the life out of the Saints' innings.

Will Williams' first four overs were maidens - he bowled six in total - and the first run he went for was a boundary from a dropped catch at first slip.

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He took 2-16 from 10, Glen Foulkes bowled his 10 overs for just 20 and the Laffey brothers' 14 overs went for a touch under three an over.

Country found runs easier to come by and Matt Laffey's 40 helped his side reach their target off the first ball of the 37th over.

- The Press

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