Wellington College and Silverstream to meet in First XI final

St Patrick’s College Silverstream 1st XI – current holders of the Heathcote Williams Shield.

For the first time since 2013, Hutt International Boys’ School (HIBS) will not feature in the National First XI cricket finals after being eliminated in the Wellington Qualifying tournament this past weekend.

Either Wellington College or St Patrick’s College, Silverstream will be the capital’s representative at Nationals in December after the latter upset HIBS on the last day of pool fixtures and the former eased into the decider.

The tournament features eight teams competing in pools of four over three days before a winner takes all final. The final will be played at the Basin Reserve on Easter Monday.

The Play

Despite their batting struggles, HIBS entered the final day of Pool B joint leaders with St Pat’s Silverstream.

HIBS batted first against Stream and despite knocks of defiance by captain Logan Slee and opener Jesse Tashkoff no other scores above double figures were contributed by anyone else in the HIBS roster as the reigning champions were rolled for 95 in the 36th over.

Silverstream bowled strongly as a unit. Fraser McHale took 3 for 7 off six overs while Henry Fraser (2 for 16) and Seth Loughran (2 for 25) chimed in with a pair of victims each.

Silverstream’s chase started poorly, slumping to 5-2 after five overs. However Tom Jones and Jono Tuffin took HIBS right out of the game by putting on 81 for the third wicket. Jones was eventually dismissed for 36. Tuffin top scored with 45 as Silverstream claimed victory by seven wickets.

Earlier in the tournament Silverstream beat Scots College by eight wickets and Onslow College by six wickets. Jones made 135 runs in three matches and Fraser was Stream’s leading wicket taker.

The winner of the last fixture in Pool A between Wellington College and Tawa College would earn the right to contest the final. Wellington won the toss and chose to bat first and was dismissed for 223 in the 49th over.

A feature of Wellington’s innings was the number of starts made by several batsmen. Openers Josh McArdle and Devan Vishvaka shared 41 for the first wicket. Tim Campbell and Hugh Morrison put on 85 for the fourth wicket until Morrison was bowled for 42 then two balls later Campbell was trapped in front by Lachie Hill for 44.

Tawa’s chase started disastrously, collapsing to 17 for 4 in the eighth over. Middle order batsman Aidan Houchen fought bravely in his innings of 40, but Harry Hunter was potent sneering 4 for 20 as Tawa was bundled out for 113 in the 33rd over, earing Wellington a 110 run victory.

Earlier in the tournament Wellington beat Hutt Valley High School by 10 wickets chasing down 158. Devan Vishvaka narrowly missed a century, belting an unbeaten 92.

Wellington enjoyed an even bigger triumph against St Pat’s Town, prevailing by 182 runs. Tom Valentine was Wellington’s best in this match taking 4 for 18 from ten overs.

Micah Conroy struck the only century of the tourney. He complied 131 off 136 balls for Tawa College in their win against St Pat’s Town

The finals standings were:

Pool A

1: Wellington College – 9 Points
2: Tawa College – 6 Points
3: St Pats Wellington – 3 Points
4: Hutt Valley High School – 0 Points

Pool B

1: St Pats Silverstream – 9 Points
2: Hutt International Boys School – 6 Points
3: Onslow College – 3 Points
4: Scots College – 0 Points

Note: Three points are earned for a win.