Sponsorship by Gillette (NZ) Ltd enabled this competition to commence in 1990. It provides the opportunity for every boys' or co-educational secondary school in New Zealand to participate in a limited overs knockout cricket competition.
Each Major Association finds their finalists through a knockout competition to attend to national tournament in December.
2013 Auckland Gillette Cup Competition
Over the past years, it's probably fair to say that Auckland Grammar School has had the edge on their MAGS counterparts, but a moral victory in their two-day match the previous year and a tie in the match earlier this year had given the MAGS team some belief that they could win this game. However, the match was still a daunting task, with the Auckland Grammar team boasting several Auckland rep players and a recently chosen NZ under 19 rep.
Although the hoardings, sight screens, commentators boxes and TV cameras of recent seasons were no longer in evidence at Colin Maiden Park, the faithful few i.e. those would been able to get the day off work, had gathered to watch the final match before the winter break between two unbeaten teams in Auckland competition. There were also plenty of other absent supporters hanging out for regular text or email updates of how their 'boys' were going.
The day had dawned brightly and even more so when Adi Dhadwal won the toss and chose to bat, believing that it's better to get the runs on the board and to put pressure on the opposition to get them. Opening batsmen, Jared Donnell & Wade Somani, walked out to the middle with the intent of getting the team off to a good start. However, after weathering the first few overs, Donnell, who had been in good form, was caught behind for a duck in the 4th over.
Much was hoped from Amit Dhadwal as he strode to the crease, having taken his season's tally for the team to 550 on Saturday. Somani, who was looking for form, launched into attack in the 5th over, hitting two boundaries. Under intense verbal flak out in the middle, he proceeded to pick up runs on a regular basis. However, he was finally undone in the 11th over, having scored 24 runs off 30 balls in a score of 47.
Once again, the Dhadwal twins were together in the middle carrying the hopes of the team on their shoulders. Generally accurate bowling meant that their brisk scoring in previous innings was not evident. A dropped catch from Amit's bat in the slips gave hope that maybe today was 'our' day. But in the 17th over, Amit's patient innings was over, when he was bowled for 25 with the team's score on 71 which included a staggering 15 wides. James Michie joined his captain in the middle and looked in control until he nicked a ball to the keeper and was out for 5 in the 22nd over. A time of consolidation was called for as Aniket Parikh walked to the middle. A slice of luck, when Parikh was inexplicably not run out when well short after being sent back. But it was not to be his day, as he was bowled soon after for 4.
With the score at 98 for 5 in the 27th over, Oli Sail was next in with the team needing a good partnership from him and Adi. Together they began to rebuild the innings, with Adi playing a good anchor innings for the team. The team had another slice of luck, when Sail played a ball high in the air just over the bowler's head and watched as, in confusion, two fieldsmen left a simple catch to each other. However, he was gone soon after, caught top-edging a full toss for a valuable 18 runs, but the team score still only 144 in the 39th over. Hamish Campbell, with one good innings from limited opportunities joined his captain and they set about getting the score closer to 200. But after being dropped on the boundary in the 46th over, Adi's valuable captain's knock of 61 was finally over when he was bowled trying to push the score along. Jordan Dashfield made a brief appearance at the crease, being run out going for an extra run and it was then left to Campbell and Nathan Harlow to score 33 off the final 3 overs and take the team's total to 214 for 8. A very good team effort, with Campbell's cameo of 37 off 36 balls at the end, the icing on the cake.
For their part, Grammar would have been disappointed to have conceded 26 wides and to have missed numerous chances in the field. And so, with a challenging target on the board, it was up to their batsmen to see what they could do. MAGS opened with the spin of Somani and the pace of Sail. A dropped catch off Sail in the 2nd over was met with words of encouragement from the fieldsman's team mates. Four miserly overs at the start were followed by two expensive overs, causing coach, Tony Sail, to suggest a change. But, Oli Sail was to have his revenge, taking both openers in the 8th and 10th overs, with Grammar 28 for 2 at the end of the 10th over. This brought Hicks and Parslow together in the middle and you could sense the tension in the air. George Campbell replaced Sail (2 for 16) in the 14th over, bowling a maiden over and Aniket Parikh replaced Somani who once again had bowled 8 good overs for 23 runs. On the final ball of Parikh's first over, there was glee from the MAGS team as Hicks was run out by a smart piece of fielding by George Campbell.
The pressure was mounting, as Grammar struggled to get their run rate over 3. And then 2 overs later, another piece of great fielding, this time by Donnell, saw Parslow making his way back to the pavilion after a contentious run out decision. More was to follow, as Donnell ran out the 5th Grammar batsman with the score at 65 in the 23 over. Surely, this was MAGS day. But, even though MAGS were on top, none of the team's supporters were prepared to lay a bet on it. After a period of rebuilding, during which Hamish Campbell bowled followed by Adi Dhadwal, Wade Somani replaced Parikh and in his 10th and final over he took the 6th wicket, courtesy of a catch by George Campbell. 92 for 6. Parikh was reintroduced and immediately had success, bowling the No. 8 batsman with the score at 98 in the 33rd over. Still no one was prepared to concede that the match was MAGS. Four overs later, Parikh had his second victim and Grammar reeling at 114 for 8 in the 37th over. Surprisingly, James McKenzie, who had nearly achieved a great win for his team in the tied match earlier in the season, did not come in till No. 10. But, this was not to be his day and he was bowled in the 39th over by Parikh, followed by the No. 11 batsman who was out LBW to Adi. A fitting end, for the captain who had played such an important innings for his team.
Another history making achievement for the team that few would have envisaged at the start of the season. And so it is off to Christchurch in December for the team to participate in the Gillette Cup for the first time. And who would bet against them performing well there too? Congratulations to the team and Tony and a well deserved break is due over the winter months.
Mt Albert Grammar - 214 for 8 (Adi Dhadwal 61, Hamish Campbell 37 no, Amit Dhadwal 25, Wade Somani 24, Aniket Parikh 3 for 25, Oli Sail 2 for 15)
Auckland Grammar - 119 for 10 (Campbell Thompson 21, J Bellz 2 for 30, J McKenzie 2 for 51)