O'Brien leaves Centaurs looking half a team in cup

OPENING batsman Seamus O'Brien wasted no time in powering Gap Ramblers through to the second round of the Saturday League's Butani Cup yesterday.

Playing at his home ground at Wong Nai Chung Gap Road, O'Brien cracked a 59-ball 90 in only 52 minutes to steer Ramblers to an early nine-wicket victory over Centaurs.

O'Brien, who has had a highly productive debut season with the bat in Hongkong cricket, struck 10 fours and five sixes and put on 116 for the first wicket with Ian Laidlaw, who was 20 not out.

Ramblers passed Centaurs' 35-over total of 118 for nine in the 15th over. Jim Hughes contributed 52 of the Centaurs score, while Terry Smith captured three for 28 and Nick Hutton three for 12 off eight overs of medium-pace.

There were handsome victories for Craigengower Cricket Club, who beat King George V School by 69 runs at KGV, and for the Pakistan Association, who beat the Legal Eagles by 39 runs at the Diocesan Boys' School.

Craigengower, who have come in for some severe punishment in the league recently, scored 232 for four in 35 overs. Bill Wadsworth (40) and Doug Jones (34) put on 65 for the first wicket but were upstaged by the fourth-wicket pairing of Andy Smith and Derek Simpson, who put on 117. Smith top-scored with 78 and Simpson was unbeaten on 47. Nick Francis took three for 46 for KGV, who were then restricted to 163 for nine.

David Clinton made 73 and Jim Francis 23 and there were two wickets apiece for Craigengower's Steve Weatherley, Peter White and John Freeman.

At DBS, the Pakistan Association made 213 for nine in 35 overs, with Jawed (74) and Eijaz Ahmed (80) sharing an opening stand of 151.

Legal Eagles closed their case on 180 for nine, 33 runs adrift. Jawed completed a good day with three for 22.