Traditional 1st XI Cricket Exchange
On Sunday 6 March, the 1st XI Cricket team welcomed Palmerston North Boys High School onto campus for the start of their three-day annual traditional fixture, ably led by 2022 captain, Deputy Head Prefect W. M. Jones.
With the forecast playing its part, Palmerston North Boys High School won the toss and put the 1st XI into bat on a green wicket. The team battled behind 56 from Form 6 student D. G. van den Burg and 42 from Form 5 student T. C. Jones before being dismissed for 130. This left just under an hour in the day’s play for the in-form bowling attack to take wickets and they certainly did that. Form 6 student J. A. Barker and Form 7 student J. I. S. Wright bowled with real intent and pace taking 5 wickets, the visitors ending the day 7 for 5.
At the start of day two (Monday 7 March), the 1st XI bowlers were keen to get into their work to collect the remaining five first-innings wickets. Again led by the opening pair of Wright and Barker, the relentless pressure continued with regular wickets falling to dismiss the guests for 45, including 5 wickets from Barker and 4 from Wright.
Focused on extending the lead, the top order had contributions from van den Burg, Jones and Form 5 student P. Kharel before declaring for 150. A target of 236 was set to make a fair contest of it with 15 overs and two sessions on day three remaining. The night saw 1 wicket sneered, leaving 9 wickets remaining to get over the final day today to secure a victory.
The final day of play on Tuesday 8 March had the clear focus to win the trophy back after many years of draws. Palmerston North choose to not chase the runs for an outright victory and went about occupying the crease happy to again play for a draw.
Trying all they could, the 1st XI got 9 of the 10 wickets required, but the visitors survived with the final three batsmen combining for 7 runs off 198 balls. Form 7 student C. J. W. Fletcher impressive with the ball taking 5 wickets. The match ended in a draw for another year. Congratulations to the team, manager Mr Dave Mackay and Master in Charge of Cricket Mr John O’Neill-Fuller for their continued support and guidance.