Geyser City have fired a warning shot to all in the Rotorua Reserve Grade Cricket competition - they mean business after crushing Central in the first round.
Batting first on a hard and fast Ray Boord Park, the red and blues managed to compile 178 all out. Their captain, Karl McKnight, was again amongst the run-scorers with 34, while teammate Richard Campbell top scored with 36. The pair put on a 70-run partnership before McKnight was bowled. Campbell hung around for another 20 runs before he was caught.
Geyser suffered a mini collapse with Graham Kirk adjudged lbw with the score on 90. Geyser lost the next six wickets relatively cheaply before Chris Nairn (12) and Emile Hoods (23 not out) combined for a 46-run partnership to re-establish the innings.
There is always a little bit of fire between the two sides with Central's bowlers looking to dominate the Geyser City batting lineup. Richard Downs was the best of the Central bowlers with 4/23. He was joined by his captain, Rees Uerata, 3/19, and brother Craig Downs, 2/25.
Going into the run chase, Central would have been reasonably confident of chasing the total down. However, as Uerata has told The Daily Post in the past, if his side cannot field their regular first XI they tend to struggle, which they did. With regular opener Ben Fraser being called into the premier side and a couple of other players unavailable - Central were never in it and were bowled out for 88.
However, the fault cannot be laid entirely at the feet of Central's top order. Matt Collier was nearly unplayable, grabbing a five-wicket bag for 23 runs. Central's woes were compounded by Dave Muir, who was miserly with his five overs, two of which were maidens. Muir grabbed 3/13 and Ben Dyson also contributed with 2/33.
In the other match between the Indians and Taupo Wanderers, it came down to a final-over thriller, with Taupo taking the honours.
The Indians batted first, setting a target of 184/9 in their allotted overs. P Singh was the best of the batters, scoring 44. He was joined by A Khan (27) and A Jassal (22). Taupo bowler A How picked up two wickets for 13 runs. It came down to the final over in Taupo's run chase to seal the match. Needing seven runs in the last over with only one batter remaining, the Wanderers squeezed out the required runs to the disappointment of the Indian team. S Chandra was the best of the Indian bowlers with 3/33.