In Just Under 10 days, the 29th Edition of the New Zealand Secondary Schools First XI Cup competition, the Gillette Cup, gets underway.
The Gillette Cup is a five-day Tournament featuring schools from all six Major Associations (Auckland, Northern Districts, Central Districts, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago). Where everyone plays everyone once across the five days and the team that finishes top of the table on usually the Friday, but this year the Thursday, wins It.
There have been instances where we have had ties, with King’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School being tied both in 1999 and 2006. As well as Palmerston North Boys’ High and Kings in 2004, then the following year Christchurch Boys’ High School and Tauranga College.
Wellington College are back at the tournament this year after ending the most successful school, Christchurch Boys’ High’s two year reign on the Cup. They will be aiming to be the first Wellington side to go back-to-back in its 28-year history and the first to go back-to-back since CBHS in recent seasons and before that King's College who won two years running in 2010 and 2011.
The Six Teams That Have Qualified For This Year’s Tournament Are As Follows:
Rosmini College - Auckland
Rosmini College are entering just their second every Gillette/First XI Cup, after entering their first one very recently in 2017 where they finished a respectable second and only losing one game and tying with Otago Boys’ High School along the way.
Out of that 2017 side, only one player is returning in 2019 to the same tournament, all-rounder and Rosmini College captain Cameron Lowry.
Rosmini have made a good start to College Cricket in Auckland in Term Four for 2019/20. Out of the Four Games they’ve played so far they have won three and lost one.
A key strength for Rosmini is definitely their bowling attack, as out of the four sides they’ve come up against no team has made more than 190, with King’s College posting the highest score against their bowling attack with 189 all out.
Two key players for them recently have been Nathan Page and Jordan Gatley who sit joint second on the wicket taking list with Nine Wickets Each. Also, Brodie Harrison has performed with the bat making two half centuries in Four Innings.
Hamilton Boys High School - Northern Districts
Hamilton Boys High School are entering their Twelfth Gillette Cup after first making the tournament in its third year in existence in 1993, winning it three times in 2002, 2003 and 2008.
Hamilton Boys’ have been known for a mid-table finish, as was their run last year that saw them win their first two games against reigning champions Christchurch Boys’ and Kings High School then lose their remaining three games and slipping to fourth place.
Hamilton Boys’ have five returning players from last year’s attempt at reclaiming the Cup, including Jacob Parker, opener Sukijit Singh, bowlers Josh Dinan, Ethan O’Donoghue and all-rounder Kristian Clarke who will be hoping for a great tournament to solidify his place in the New Zealand Under 19’s for the World Cup next year after being used only sparingly in the recent series against Bangladesh Under 19’s.
Lindisfarne College - Central Districts
Lindisfarne College are arriving at just their second ever Gillette Cup this year after their first in 2013 when they finished third behind Christchurch Boys’ and Mt Albert Grammar School.
Lindisfarne will be wanting to make a name for themselves after Palmerston North Boys’ High and Nelson College have been the CD staples usually making the trip to Lincoln over the years.
Fred Mowat and Hunter Lowe have been standouts for Lindisfarne this year, with Mowat fourth on the wicket taker charts with 11 scalps while Mowatt tops the charts with 15 victims. Both in seven matches.
Wellington College - Wellington
At the start of the year people in Wellington thought that the defending National Champions might go through a bit of a rebuilding phase after losing everyone but Hugh Morrison, Henry Chandler and despite most of the year, Tim Robinson.
However, luckily for them their Second XI get to play in the same competition as their First XI and hold their own at times. So they have only dropped two games all year on the road but have been invincible at home.
Wellington College are the most successful Wellington side at the tournament, winning it twice. Once last year and for the first time in 2002, showing just how sparingly it has been between drinks for Wellington teams not including HIBS’ title win in 2015 and St Pats Silverstream lifting the Cup in 1996.
Rithwick Negi has been in college career best form, being placed in the Wellington College Second XI in the start of the year, he scored 389 runs across seven games with an average of 97.25. As well as Max Rodgers finishing top wicket taker in the Term One competition, with 14 wickets in seven Games.
Based on successful transitions between Second XI and First XI at the end of last year, Wellington College could be people’s favourites to go back-to-back.
St Andrew’s College - Canterbury
St Andrew’s in 2019 are arriving at their first Gillette Cup since their founding in 1917 and the competition’s inception in 1990. Ending the reign of Christchurch Boys’ High School who have attended the past seven First XI Cup Finals as the representative from the Canterbury Association.
St Andrew’s have made an impeccable start to college cricket in Christchurch for Term Four, winning all six games which sees them sit top of the table and ten points clear of the next team, St Bede’s College with one round remaining against St Bede’s.
New Zealand Under 19’s Rep Rhys Mariu has been an outstanding performer for StAC with the bat in Term Four Cricket for 2019, sitting third on the Top run scorer charts with 194 runs across six games with an average just shy of 40.
Meanwhile, Jesse Frew has been up near the top in the wicket taking standings with 10 Wickets. Jordy Frew and Zak Foulkes aren’t too far back in the standings with nine wickets each.
Otago Boys High School - Otago
Otago Boys High’ find themselves back at the Gillette Cup after being pipped by Kings High School in the local final last year which saw Kings make the trip to Lincoln.
This is Otago Boys’ 16th trip to Lincoln and they will be seeking their first win since they went back-to-back in 1992 and 1993, they brushed aside Kings High School last Friday to book their place, rolling them for less than 100 and chasing it down for a six wicket win.
Otago play their cricket in Dunedin in the Second Grade club cricket competition and currently sit mid-table, despite their up and down former over the six weeks of matches they have had so far two players have shown promise for Otago Boys.
With Alex Wilson sitting atop the Wicket Taking Charts with 11 wickets in three games, meanwhile with the bat Xavier Chislom has been in the runs with a top score of 60 and he has a total of 96 runs across three games.
All Gillette Cup Matches Will Be Live Scored On NZC.NZ, also On Cric HQ
Article prepared by Hamish Wareham. Follow Wareham Sports Media on Facebook
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