Ambler seals LPW's Twenty20 win in style
Lancaster Park-Woolston started and finished yesterday's club Twenty20 cricket final with emphatic statements.
A wicket with the first ball of the game by Da'an Van Deventer and a booming six to player-coach Keryn Ambler off the last one helped LPW beat East Christchurch-Shirley by seven wickets at Hagley Oval and claim their second consecutive T20 title.
And while the first and last balls were good, everything in between wasn't much worse as LPW won comfortably, chasing down Easts' 127-7 with five balls to spare.
Ambler, a former Easts player, was the matchwinner with an impressive 65 not out off 47 balls.
He hit five fours as well as his six, but his gap finding was the real feature as even Easts' experienced duo of Ryan Burson and Jason Pawson couldn't dislodge him.
LPW have now gone two seasons without dropping a T20 match.
"I just think we've got a good limited overs side," Ambler said.
"We restrict teams well with the ball and if we can pick up a couple of early wickets like we did today then we can make it very hard for them."
And that's exactly what LPW did; they dismissed Easts opener Craig Stevens off the match's first ball and had Easts 8-2 in the second over.
They were then able to pile on pressure which led to wickets.
Ben Cant and Nathan Wood both grabbed two economical wickets while Ambler's three overs of gentle medium pace went for just 10 runs.
Had it not been for a breezy 39-ball 48 from Ben Hanham, and his 49-run fifth wicket partnership with Nick Johnston (25), Easts really would have struggled on the new surface after battling to 57-4 in the 12th over.
But 127 wasn't going to be enough unless Easts took early wickets and they couldn't.
LPW put on 34 for the first wicket and even losing both set batsmen in the space of an over hardly slowed them.
Ambler and Cant (18) put on 60 for the third wicket and Ambler had the chase in control throughout.
"I really enjoyed my time at Easts and have a lot of good friends there, but it's nice to beat them and nice to win," he said.
"This is always a bit of a grudge match, the two eastern city sides."
Earlier, Halswell won the senior A final by seven runs over Sumner.
Sumner needed eight off the last over, but lost their final wicket on the first ball of the 20th over.
East Christchurch-Shirley 127-7 (B Hanham 48, N Johnston 25; N Wood 2-21, B Cant 2-21) lost to Lancaster Park-Woolston 133-3 (K Ambler 65no, M Davidson 22) by seven wickets.