The Vettori Shield competition begins by Rachel Fitness

Vettori Shield 2018

The Vettori Shield competition is a national cricket invitational for years 9 and 10. It was held at St Paul's during the first week of the summer holidays.

Day 1 vs Hutt International Boys' School (HIBS)

In the opening game, St Paul's won the toss and elected to bat. Unfortunately, the openers were not able to establish dominance, losing their first wicket after three balls. The rest of the top order stuttered along until Sam Lints took control of proceedings by notching up his maiden century of 107. He was ably supported by Hunter Doull who scored 31. St Paul's were eventually bowled out for 195.

HIBS started off slowly, but poor bowling discipline from St Paul's allowed them to build momentum. After 30 overs, HIBS looked set to reach their target comfortably. However, a fine spell from Laurence I'Anson brought St Paul's back into the game with figures of 5/34 in his 10 overs. HIBS were dismissed for 188, giving St Paul's a seven-run victory.

Day 2 vs Westlake Boys’ High School

From the get-go, the second game was going to be a tough one for St Paul's. Like the day before, the top order was not able to make much of an impact on the Westlake attack. Once again, it was Sam Lints who saved St Paul's from complete embarrassment. As wickets tumbled around him, Lints blazed his way to 42 before running out of partners. St Paul's were dismissed for a meagre 86.

In the second innings, St Paul's were never able to put the Westlake batsmen under any pressure. The batsmen found it easy going and were able to chase down the target in the 15th over for the loss of only one wicket.

Day 3 vs Wellington College

After the battles of the previous day, St Paul's were determined to bounce back against Wellington College. St Paul's lost the toss and was asked to bowl first. Immediately, it was clear to see that this game was not going to be a repeat of yesterday. The bowlers were far more disciplined with their line and length, which restricted Wellington's ability to score. Matthew Waddell claimed figures of 2/27, while Cameron Bird picked up 2/35. Wellington was dismissed for 193 in the 48th over.

Hit by illness over the lunch break, St Paul's were forced to reshuffle the batting order and soon found themselves in trouble yet again. And just like the previous two days, there could only be one man to save the situation. Sam Lints batted superbly, to record his second century of the week. He was deputised by Hunter Doull, who hit the winning runs in the 41st over, finishing on 41 not out. St Paul's won by two wickets.

Day 4 vs Otago Boys’ High School (OBHS)

The last day of the week saw St Paul's take on OBHS in the 3rd and 4th playoff. St Paul's chose to bat first and got off to a slow start. However, Neelay Mistry grabbed the game by the collar and dominated the innings. He capitalised on OBHS's short bowling and scored quickly and posted his first century, before being dismissed for 121. St Paul's looked set to celebrate their second ton of the day, but unfortunately, Harry Trumm fell just one run short and was bowled for 99. St Paul's finished on 265 in the 50 overs.

Facing a daunting target, OBHS came out all guns firing. After losing an early wicket to a run out, they set about taking apart the St Paul's attack and put together a 169 run partnership for the second wicket. This performance took the game away from St Paul's who fought valiantly throughout. In the 44th over, the rain arrived and brought a close to the day's play. OBHS were well ahead on Duckworth/Lewis and claimed a much-deserved victory.

Sam Lints received the MVP for the tournament and Neelay Mistry was awarded the Player of the Day on the last day.

Thank you to Messrs Michael Rameka, Brad Emslie and Dan Harper for their work in putting this tournament together and for supporting our team throughout.