Hutt International Boys' School will return to the Gillette Cup cricket finals in December for the fourth time in six years.
The Trentham based school qualified for the Christchurch staged tourney after defending their Wellington title.
In pool play they comfortably accounted for Wellington College and Scots College. In their third game, effectively a semi-final against Tawa College, HIBS batting struggled. However they delivered an excellent bowling and fielding performance to win handsomely. Troy Johnson claimed 5/14 and Rachin Ravindra 4/19.
In the final HIBS played St Patricks College, Town. HIBS staggered to 198 on a slow pitch and outfield. Again they produced an outstanding bowling and fielding display to dismiss St Pats for 114. Ben Sears took four wickets.
HIBS has seven players returning for the second year in a row - Johnson (Captain and returning for his 3rd Gillette finals) Sears, Ravindra, Brad Johns, Akshar Patel, Tyler Simpson and Akansh Kanuparthi.
HIBS won two out of five games last year and lost to eventual winners Christchurch Boys' High School in the final over. They finished third equal with St. Paul's Collegiate.
HIBS acknowledge every game will be tough, but they are confident they have a balanced team that can have a serious tilt at the title.
Six players average over 25 with the bat and seven players have economy rates of under four with the ball.
Johnson is an outstanding prospect. The head boy scored 278 runs at 69.50 in last year's tournament. He is the is the leading run scorer in HIBS (25 year) history, with over 4000 runs at an average of 47. He has also taken 80 wickets. He is a Wellington Under-19 representative.
Ravindra made 256 runs at 51 in Christchurch in 2014, but he is even more dangerous with the ball. He is the leading wicket taker in HIBS history with 132 wickets at an average of 10.4.
Ben Sears played for the First XI football team that won the Wellington title for the first time. He is a fine all-rounder and this year became the first player in HIBS history to take 100 wickets and score 2000 runs. At the Gillette Cup last year he made a valuable contribution scoring 155 runs at 31 and sneering 10 wickets at 18.
South African native Mark Borthwick is the coach of HIBS. Previously he was the coach of the Wellington Blaze women's team.
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