The Student Horizons Twenty20 Cup is a traditional and highly anticipated prelude to busy summer of cricket in Auckland.
Eight teams compete over three days for the right to be declared Twenty20 champions in the City of Sails.
In 2016, Kings College, Auckland Grammar School, Westlake BHS, St. Peters College, St John’s College, Hamilton, Kelston BHS, Avondale College and Rangitoto College will compete in the fast-paced event.
Auckland Grammar School are the defending champions and leading batsman Flynn McGregor-Sumpter is looking forward to the challenge of retaining the title.
“It’s going to be tough, but I am really excited. We have a good team with a balance of fresh faces and experienced guys,” he says.
Last year Grammar lost in pool play to St. Peter’s, but recovered to win through to the final where they met their neighbours and arch-nemesis. McGregor-Sumpter recalls the occasion.
“We batted first and James Banicievich smashed eighty-odd. It was a great knock that set us up for a big score which we defended relatively easily.”
There will be nothing easy about this year’s tourney. Auckland Grammar is joined in pool play by Westlake, King’s and St. John’s.
“They are all good teams. Westlake and King’s are traditionally strong. Westlake were runners up at the Gillette Cup while King’s are a great rival in any sport. St. John’s is a bit of a dark horse. We don’t know a lot about them, but the Hamilton side is always good,” McGregor-Sumpter says.
McGregor-Sumpter believes the biggest challenge of the tournament, apart from the opposition , is keeping energy levels high. McGregor-Sumpter elaborates:
“You play five games in three days and the pace is frantic. You have to be prepared to dig deep in the field and running between the wickets because every run counts.”
The size of scores in international cricket is rapidly increasing. The ability to clear the boundaries with a vast array of shots and frequently is becoming more crucial. McGregor-Sumpter admits watching the likes of Chris Gayle and his favourite players AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson (Above) can be intimidating.
“I am more suited to the longer formats because I like to bat time. I like to have a swing as well, but I have to work on my power hitting and shot range to became a better player.”
McGregor-Sumpter is an Eastern Districts rep and his highest score for the First XI is 99 against Rosmini College. He was stumped then, he hopes to have the answers over the next three days at Waikaraka Park in Onehunga.
A: King’s, St. Peter’s, Westlake, St. John’s
B: Auckland GS, Avondale, Kelston, Rangitoto
10:00am: King’s College vs. Auckland Grammar School
10:00am: St Peter’s College vs. Avondale College
10:00am: Westlake Boys’ High School vs. Kelston Boys’ High School
10:00am: St John’s College, Hamilton vs. Rangitoto College
1:30pm: King’s College vs. Avondale College
1:30pm: St Peter’s College vs. Kelston Boys’ High School
1:30pm: 13:30 Westlake Boys’ High School vs. Rangitoto College
1:30pm: St John’s College, Hamilton vs. Auckland Grammar School
10:00am: King’s College vs. Kelston Boys’ High School
10:00am: St Peter’s College vs. Rangitoto College
10:00am: Westlake Boys’ High School vs. Auckland Grammar School
10:00am: St John’s College, Hamilton vs. Avondale College
1:30pm: King’s College vs. Rangitoto College
1:30pm: St Peter’s College vs. Auckland Grammar School
1:30pm: Westlake Boys’ High School vs. Avondale College
1:30pm: St John’s College, Hamilton vs. Kelston Boys’ High School
10:00am: Winner Pool A vs. Runners Up Pool A
10:00am: Winner Pool B vs. Runners Up Pool B
10:00am Third Place Pool A vs. Fourth Place Pool A
10:00am Third Place Pool B vs. Fourth Place Pool B
1:30pm: Winner SF 1 vs. Winner SF 2 (1st/2nd playoff)
1:30pm: Runners Up SF 1 vs. Runners Up SF 2 (3rd/4th playoff)
1:30pm: Winner SF 3 vs. Winner SF 4 (5th/6th playoff)
1:30pm: Runners Up SF 3 vs. Runners Up SF 4 (7th/8th playoff)
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