New Plymouth Boys' High School are on the cusp of winning the national under-15 title after four days of the final tournament in Palmerston North. Having won their first match on Monday by 26 runs over Wellington College, Boys' High made it two from two on Tuesday when they pipped King's High School (Dunedin) by two wickets in a low scoring match.
Batting first, King's were bowled out for just 70 from 30.1 overs as Ethan Dower took 5-14 and Jason McGrath 3-7 from eight overs. Chasing such a small total proved difficult, however, as Boys' High crawled along to reach the target in the 27th over with just two wickets in hand.
Boys' High then faced Auckland Grammar on day three. Batting first, Boys' High made 174-9 off their 40 overs on the same pitch that had proved so difficult to score off a day before. Jack Parker was the best of the Boys' High batsmen, scoring an excellent 49 while Benjamin Olliver (34) and Hamish Coombe (21) also provided some valuable runs. Boys' High managed to put the pressure on from the start and had Grammar in trouble as they lost four wickets inside the space of the first 15 overs. Dower was again the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-21 as Boys' High won by 56 runs.
Day four ended up being a wash out for all the sides with Boys' High meant to play Hamilton Boys' High School, the only other unbeaten side in the competition.
The final day will see Boys' High face St Bede's College with Hamilton due to meet Grammar. If both teams win then the tournament winner will be judged on best net run rate.