Hutt International Boys’ School have become the first Wellington school for 14 years to win the national first XI cricket cup.
Coming into the final day equal on points with Westlake Boys’, but with a far superior net run-rate, they needed only a decent win over Palmerston North Boys’ to take home the title.
The silverware was formerly known as the Gillette Cup and is a straight round-robin competition without a final.
Hutt duly obliged, racking up a 114-run win.
Half-centuries from Rachin Ravindra (64 off 86) and Jesse Tashkoff (51 off 47) set up a total of 261 all out, one ball short of seeing out the 50 overs.
Opener Ravindra and skipper Troy Johnson (38 off 49) enjoyed a 75-run partnership through the middle overs, but both fell in the 30th over to leave the score at 154-3.
Tashkoff took up the initiative from there, forming partnerships with Bradley Johns and Joseph Foote to steadily build the total.
The last five wickets fell for 15 runs as the lower order chased quick runs.
The innings typified HIBS’ tournament where different players stood up at different times to earn them their four wins.
It was the same in the bowling effort, as Matt McComb bowled a tight 10 overs, taking 1-7, through the middle of the innings to apply huge amounts of pressure to the Palmerston North batsmen.
That was after Charles Parker (19 off 29) and Tom O’Connor (15 off eight) got Palmerston North off to a flier, racing to 27 off four overs before Ben Sears removed the latter lbw.
But that was about as good as it got for Palmerston North, as they lost wickets in a steady stream to reach 101-7 in the 28th over.
Needing more than seven runs per over to win with just three wickets in hand was always going to be too much and Palmerston North were eventually dismissed for 147 in the 47th over.
McComb played a major part in the win, while Akansh Kanuparthi profited at the other end, doubling his tournament wicket tally with 3-23.
When Westlake Boys’ could only manage a 21-run win over Hamilton Boys’, HIBS knew they had won the title.
In an incredible twist, Palmerston North recorded only one win in the tournament, which also happened to be Westlake Boys’ only loss.
The Aucklanders will be left to rue their 62-run loss on Tuesday, when they were dismissed for 138 chasing 200, which cost them the title.
Wellington College’s 2001 triumph in the old Gillette Cup was the last time a team from the Wellington region won the competition, while St Pat’s Silverstream also won the title in 1996.
AT A GLANCE:
Hutt International 261 off 49.5 overs (R Ravindra 64, J Tashkoff 51, T Johnson 38; Z Akhter 4-47, B Rowe 2-56) beat Palmerston North Boys’ 147 all out off 47 overs ( A Kanuparthi 3-23, B Sears 2-35) by 114 runs.
Final standings (net runrate): Hutt International 8 (0.844), Westlake Boys’ 8 (-0.048), Chrischurch Boys 6 (0.942), Hamilton Boys’ High 4 (0.277), Otago Boys’ High 2 (-0.751), Palmerston North Boys’ 2 (-1.243).
Video Footage From the Game:
1st Innings – HIBS Batting
2nd Innings – HIBS Bowling