After a long week in the sun, Christchurch Boys’ High School can once more lay claim to being the best cricket First XI in the country.
CBHS won their tenth Secondary School Boys' First XI Cup [formerly the Gillette Cup] title today after completing a 50-run win over home school Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
CBHS also won their second national finals tournament in succession and fifth in the past six years (interrupted by Hutt International Boys’ School prevailing in 2015).
Speaking to College Sport Media, captain Ben Hartland was delighted with the win, emphasising that it was a team effort.
“It wasn’t all smooth sailing, Palmy put up a great fight today and it just shows how much depth there is here,” he said.
Top order batsman Hartland was the leading run scorer throughout the week, scoring 346 runs and scoring 101 off 116 deliveries against Tauranga Boys’ College on Thursday and 91 off 123 balls against Palmerston North BHS today. Hartland and Louie Chapman put on 153 runs for the fourth wicket in a match-winning stand.
It was the group spirit that saw them win all five of their 50-over matches in the six-team round-robin format.
“It was a really good all-round effort. Today we batted well and Louie scored 81 and we put on a good partnership together [153 for the 3rd wicket]. In the field we created chances – we didn’t always take them but you can’t fault the effort of the boys over the five days.”
“It is half the job just to qualify to get up here, and then to go all the way and win. By day five it takes it out of you.”
Hartland himself won four out of five tosses. “I hadn’t won a toss to save my life before this week! I was on about four from 10 so it is nice to even that up a bit.”
Hartland stated the game against Auckland champions Rosmini College on Tuesday as a key victory in this tournament. This was the one toss he lost, but CBHS still posted 295 off their 50 overs and then bowled Rosmini out for 266. “We didn’t know much about them, and to post a big score and then come out and defend it, they are a very good side.”
Hartland said there would be no cricket tomorrow or for the near future. “It is supposed to be 36 degrees in Canterbury tomorrow, so we will celebrate this and go home and put our feet up for a while!”
Hartland has just finished year 13. There five out of 14 players coming back next year so the future bodes well for CBHS. Hartland himself is heading to the University of Canterbury to start an engineering degree in 2018.
Meanwhile, there was a thriller in one of the other two matches today, with Rosmini College and Otago Boys’ High School tying their contest.
Rosmini scored 286 off their 50 overs, with opener Zakk Finlay scoring 105 off just 95 cherries and Tom Bareham 84 off 81. Otago were in trouble at 35 for 3 before a recovery saw them keep pace with the required rate and they finished all square on 286 for 9 after 50 overs.
Tauranga Boys’ College defeated Hutt International Boys’ School by 2 wickets, chasing down 144 to win with 10 balls to spare.
With Hartland the leading run-scorer with 346 runs, Bareham was second with 280 and Chapman 208. Otago BHS’s Ben Lockrose and CBHS’s Charlie Sidey were the joint leading wicket takers with 11 scalps apiece.
CBHS road to the 2017 title
Round One Monday
CBHS 155-3 (B Hartland 58*, S Yorston 30*) beat Otago Boys’ High School 154 (M Cormack 60; J Mariu 5-36) by 7 wickets
Round Two Tuesday
CBHS 295-8 (B Hartland 68, L Chapman 41) beat Rosmini College (C Lowry 86; C Sidey 2-26) by 29 runs
Round 3 Wednesday
CBHS 241-8 (S Yorston 56, M Hay 51; M Kennerley 4-54) beat HIBS 128 (C Sidey 3-26) by 113 runs
Round 4 Thursday
CBHS 286-9 (B Hartland 101; I Singh 4-63) beat Tauranga Boys’ College 114 (O Lewis 3-10) by 171 runs
Round 5 Friday
CBHS 261-8 (B Hartland 91, L Chapman 81) beat Palmerston North Boys’ High School 211 (J Mariu 3-45) by 50 runs
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