St Paul’s beat Kaipaki to claim back-to-back Champions Trophy titles

23 March 2016

St Paul’s Collegiate School have gone back to back in Waikato Valley club cricket’s Champions Trophy, after grinding their way to a first-innings win over Kaipaki in the two-day final at the weekend.

In what was a rematch of last season’s decider, St Paul’s again prevailed, this time after a solid batting display on their home ground laid the platform.

Last year’s final was washed out on day two and St Paul’s won by virtue of being top qualifier. Having qualified top again this time, they knew they didn't have to force the issue and were content to spend as much time at the crease as possible, having been surprised to be sent in on a flat wicket on Saturday.

Led by a superb century from Sean Dykes, the hosts batted into day two and racked up 340, before bowling Kaipaki out for 249 halfway through Sunday’s final session.

Coach Mark Bailey, who also played in the match due to his side missing a couple of regulars, was delighted for the team, who also took out the Twenty20 title early in the season and were runners-up in the one-day competition.

"It was very satisfying for them," he said.

"They're playing some good cricketers, and hopefully it’s making them better cricketers playing in this grade."

Bailey was proud of the way new players had stood up since the departure of three key members at the Christmas/New Year break. One in particular was wicketkeeper/batsman Dykes, the Year 12 student having transferred from Tauranga Boys' College.

Batting at No 3, Dykes was in in the 16th over, and didn't leave till the 74th, after making 103 off 151 balls. The right-hander has a solid defensive technique and played very well straight, through the covers and also into the on-side, hitting 15 fours in his 274-minute stay.

"Any time you get a guy getting a hundred in the top five [is the key] – that’s what we talked about all season long," Bailey said.

Others were able to bat around Dykes, with the middle order of Edward Sclater (32), Bailey (57) and Tom Yarrall (53) able to keep Kaipaki in the field all day, with the hosts going to stumps on 330-8 in 104 overs.

On day two St Paul’s added 10 runs in 4.4 overs, leaving Kaipaki a big chase at about three and a half per over.

The home side started in fine style with the ball, with Mathew Fisher (4-28 off 14 overs) claiming three scalps inside the first 10 overs to have the visitors reeling at 19-3.

"We just asked him to attack the stumps and bowl nice and full, so you're asking a lot of questions of them, just basic stuff really," Bailey said.

The hosts' spinners were then able to keep things tight, and while several Kaipaki batsmen got starts, no-one was able to kick on. The last pair of Doug Cookson (29) and Dylan Griffin (24no) managed to fight for 13.2 overs in a 56-run stand, but it was only delaying the inevitable, and when Yarrall bowled Cookson St Paul’s were able to celebrate.

Champions Trophy final

St Paul’s 340 (S Dykes 103, Mark Bailey 57, T Yarrall 53, E Sclater 32; C Hyde 2-13, D Busch 2-46, J Mitchenson 2-60, D Cookson 2-65) beat Kaipaki 249 (B Leonard 43, C Schwarz 36, H Bothma 35; M Fisher 4-28, T Yarrall 2-36, B Higgens 2-82) on first innings.

(Source: AARON GOILE - Waikato Times)