Kaipaki edge closer to title
Kaipaki can wrap up the Waikato Valley Champions Trophy 100-over competition this weekend, with a round to spare, as they kept their unbeaten run going on Saturday.
With the eight teams breaking into a top-four and bottom-four round robin, top qualifiers Kaipaki, who won the Mike Cotter Cup one-day title earlier in the season, beat third-ranked Hinuera by five wickets at Matamata's Pohlen Park.
Hinuera were in all sorts of trouble from the outset, falling to an astounding 30-7 as seamers Charlie Parker (5-25) and Ross Laidlaw (3-30) blew them apart.
A spirited 60 from Jason Rusk managed to get the hosts to triple figures, as they were eventually dismissed for 115.
In their chase Kaipaki lost half their wickets, but Fraser Kilgour top-scored with 36 to see the visitors to a comfortable win.
The other clash in the top-four saw second-placed St Paul's Collegiate School beat fourth-ranked Cambridge by 53 runs at the school ground.
Winning the toss and batting, the hosts produced a solid showing, making 255-5 off their maximum 52 overs.
Dillon Kelliher led the way with 88, while there was strong support from Alistair Blackett (59no) and Chris Swanson (57).
In reply, Keith Vincent (56) and Vern Woodhams (38) threatened, but their side was bowled out for 202, with off-spinner Bede Higgens the pick of the bowlers, claiming 4-39 off 13.1 overs.
With the points carrying over from the round robin stage, Kaipaki have 198, which is 31 clear of St Paul's, who they meet in the final round.
Those two are now the only sides who can win the title, but St Paul's need to beat Hinuera on the road this weekend and hope Kaipaki fall at home to Cambridge.
Meanwhile, in the bottom-four playoffs, Otorohanga left-arm spinner Calvin Hewitt claimed six wickets, including a hat-trick, as his side rolled Te Awamutu for 127 at the Otorohanga Domain.
The home side, led by Rupinder Singh's 41 and James Hall's 32, then chased down the total for a four-wicket win.
In the other match, Waikare beat Tokoroa by 60 runs at the Te Kauwhata Domain.
Josh Barnett top-scored for Waikare with 62 and Jeff Lyons contributed 45, while Tom Ferguson took 4-48 off 12 overs for Tokoroa, as Waikare were dismissed for 182.
The visitors were knocked over for 122, with Mike Olphert and Lyons each claiming 3-30, off 12 and 10 overs respectively.