East Shirley's slender first-innings lead proved vital as they held off defending champions St Albans by eight runs to start their two-day premier club campaign on a winning note at Burwood Park on Saturday.
Saints carried the momentum into day two following Dave Twigg's whirlwind 82 last week despite trailing by 24 runs but Easts were not about to let all their hard work last week go to waste as Ken McClure (38) and D J Lyons (32) played important innings to set a challenging fourth-innings chase of 189 for St Albans after they were bowled out for 164.
Matt Holstein was brilliant with the ball, picking up 4-13 off 10 overs, while William Mills (3-30) was also impressive in stifling Easts' scoring rate. Saints' pursuit of victory got off to a horror start as Jared Roberts (2-31) and Leighton Burtt knocked the top order over cheaply to reduce them to 9-3 before Ben Langrope (63) and George Earl (57) came together with the visitors in further trouble at 40-5.
The pair put on 93 for the sixth wicket to steady the ship before they were both undone by veteran Ryan Burson, who had a day out with figures of 6-25 off his 14.4 overs.
Despite the double strike and the wicket of Holstein for 10, Saints still appeared to be cruising to victory needing nine with two wickets in hand but Burson returned to claim Twigg for 19 before Jason Pawson wrapped up the nail-biting victory an over later.
Marist-Harewood controlled the first day of their match with Burnside West-University as they built a 62-run lead at Burnside Park and they continued in a similar vein early on day two.
The search of quick runs to set up a declaration was evident as Marist-Harewood posted 169-8 in 35 overs on the back of knocks by Matt Winter (45), Ian Cockbain (40) and Ben McCord (35no).
Set a daunting 232 to win from a minimum of 65 overs BWU were not fazed as Sam Noster (74) scored a vital half-century with several other batsmen chipping in with 20s and 30s as they wrapped up what seemed, for most of the match, an unlikely three-wicket victory.
Chris Mugford played a vital innings to help Riccarton to a draw in their match with Lancaster Park-Woolston at Upper Riccarton Domain.
After bundling Riccarton out for 236 early on, LPW scored 181-7 in quick time with Ben Ward (80no) providing the acceleration to set up the declaration.
Set 236 to win, Riccarton were never in the hunt but key knocks by Arnie Yugaraja (38) and Ben Rapson (27) before Mugford's defiant 32 helped them to 137-9, leaving LPW ruing what might have been as they claimed a first-innings victory. In the day's final game Old Boys Collegians polished off a dominant first day against Sydenham by chasing down their victory target of 32 before lunch to complete a nine-wicket victory at Elmwood Park.
Matt McEwan and Theo van Woerkom polished off the Sydenham second innings with four wickets apiece, McEwan shattering the stumps on three occasions.
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