Preview TPL Round 12
Plenty on the Line as TPL Club Cricket nears play offs
A couple of upsets last week threw the cat very much amongst the pigeons as we move into the penultimate round of the TPL club cricket competition on Saturday.
The Dolphins were defeated by the lowly Wakatu unit and as a result relinquished the much-vaunted poll position. They will be planning on regrouping as they drive over the hill again to take on ACOB at Botanics. ACOB had their own problems last week as they limped home against another battling team, WTTU. Dolphins will hope that the top run scorer Prabodha Arthavidu regains his touch and they can accumulate enough runs to be competitive. ACOB have Reuben Smith in the form of his life with the ball, but BJ Barnett needs a bit more support with the bat. While Dolphins are very close to having assured a semi-final position, points for ACOB could also guarantee them a berth in the semis. Plenty to play for here.
Nelson College need a victory to remain in touch as they travel out to Jubilee Park to challenge WTTU. This will not be easy as they have key players still unavailable due to Under 17 representative commitments. College have been working hard this week though and will surely have a little more steel in their batting than they displayed last week. While WTTU have a very remote mathematical chance of qualifying for the semis they will relish the chance to play spoiler. Swashbuckling Tom Cross and Joey O’Connor are about due. Sam Baxendine has been bowling well and they will look forward to bullying the schoolboys.
Competition leaders and playing through champions Car Company Stoke Nayland have the road trip over to Horton Park in Blenheim to duke it out with the Falcons. While the home team cannot qualify, they looked very good last week against Nelson College. Matthew Stretch batted outstandingly well in a composed century while Nick Weaver bought real heat with the ball. Stoke Nayland faltered a little before hobbling in against Wanderers/Motueka. They had a depleted team then however and have powered up for this match. They welcome back Darius Skeaping, Chris Dittmer, Paddy Howes, Liam Clark, Billy Guyton and Tom Chambers all of whom provide a lot more experience and strength. While they will treat the Falcons as a threat, a win could lock in the top spot for them.
The remaining match has Wakatu travelling to Brightwater to meet Wanderers/Motueka. These two teams are both just playing for pride now – though both displayed it last week with gutsy displays.
Matches all begin at 11:30 am.
Points with 2 games to play: Car Company Stoke Nayland 40, Dolphins 39, ACOB 34, Nelson College 30, Falcons 22, WTTU 20 (3 to play), Wakatu 15 (3 to play), Wanderers/Motueka 8