Semifinalists have been found in the Waikato intermediate school cricket competition, with Marian Catholic School and Cambridge Middle School set to meet for a second consecutive weekend.
Marian took the honours with a four-wicket victory at the University of Waikato in the last round of the round-robin last Saturday and with it claimed top spot, while Cambridge finished fourth.
Winning the toss and batting in their 35-over-a-side contest, Cambridge were in early trouble at 9-3 after Nicholas Farrell struck three times. Harvey Halligan (46 not out) and Elliot Ware (19) showed some resistance but the Marian spinners continued to squeeze the middle order, as Cambridge stumbled to 39-5 at drinks.
However, Halligan and Patrick Espin (36 not out) combined after the break for a 79-run partnership to give Cambridge a respectable total of 118-5. In reply, Marian got off to a sedate start and lost a couple of wickets, but a 36-run partnership between Farrell (22) and William Muldowney (23) steadied the innings before three wickets in the space of four overs kept Cambridge in the game.
At 76-5, Reshav Anand entered the crease and his run-a-ball 27 got Marian home with 22 balls to spare.
The other semifinal will be between Berkley Normal Middle School and St Peter's School, with the duo finishing tied on points.
At the weekend St Peter's were winners at home against Old Boys, while Berkley were also victorious on home turf against Southwell School, chasing down 168 to win by three wickets with six overs to spare.
In the other match Jackson Biss hit an unbeaten 91 for Fairfield Intermediate School as they made a huge 196-2 away to Peachgrove Intermediate School, who were dismissed for 159 in reply.
Peachgrove finish bottom of the table and face fifth-placed Southwell in the bottom four playoffs, while sixth-placed Fairfield will meet seventh-placed Old Boys.
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