A third Premier Youth Grade title in a row has confirmed the powerhouse status of Hutt International Boys School in Wellington secondary school cricket.
HIBS were too strong all round for St Patrick’s College Town on Saturday at Kilbirnie Park, winning their away final with seven overs to spare in a game reduced to 43 at the start.
Individual efforts from their captain Troy Johnson and Rachin Ravindra were the backbone of a convincing team effort.
Johnson, the Wellington under-19 captain last season, guided his side home with 86 as the locals confidently chased down 160.
Ben Sears set up the chase with a solid 35 after Ravindra, his fellow opener, went early.
After Sears was second out at 54, the already set Johnson and Jesse Tashkoff put on 129 in a match winning third-wicket partnership.
Tashkoff’s 27 from 60 balls was the perfect foil for an increasingly dominant Johnson who made hay after being missed in the slips early to hit 11 fours and a six in his unbeaten 96 ball innings
“He led by example again. He’s a very special talent and we will miss him as a player and a captain,” coach Mark Borthwick said.
Earlier HIBS made the most of winning the toss and bowling.
The covers had been blown off in the previous day’s rain and, even with a delayed start, dampness was a factor.
“It was difficult early on and then it improved. We definitely got the better of it,” he said.
“St Pat’s are a good side and they batted well to get that score,” Borthwick said.
Ravindra, a left arm spinner, was the stand out with 6 for 42 off his maximum nine overs.
The Year 11 player had a double wicket over early and then scooped wickets at the end to stem any St Pat’s Town ambitions.
HIBS used five other bowlers who stuck to their work as Town struggled to get to four runs an over at any time.
The premier youth final ended Wellington college cricket for five HIBS players including Johnson and Sears.
The side will stay together for one last challenge, however. They play the Secondary School Boys’ First XI Cup Finals (formerly Gillette Cup) which begins at Canterbury’s Lincoln University on Monday, December 7.
– Upper Hutt Leader
Troy Johnson, the top performing captain and all-rounder in the champion HIBS’s cricket side.