Northern finish tournament with victory

Provincial A tournament champions Wellington were unable to complete a final day victory, losing an exciting Twenty20 match to Northern Districts in Lincoln.

Having finished level on 154 after 20 overs, Northern managed to defend nine in the decisive stage, restricting Wellington to six for two.

Needing four off the last ball for victory, Matthew Taylor was caught to leave his side four runs short. It didn’t have an effect on the result of the tournament though, with Wellington still going on to triumph and lift the title.

Northern’s pursuit of Wellington’s original total quite possibly should have ended the match in 20 overs, but a run of late wickets thwarted their opportunity.

The top three of Mitchell Santer (26), Joe Carter (30) and Tamati Clarke (33) got Northern off to a terrific start, but apart from Shane Gadson (31), the middle and lower-order failed to fire.

Gadson looked to be leading his side to victory, but was bowled off the penultimate ball of the innings, leaving James Baker requiring a boundary off the final delivery to force an eliminator over. The number ten did the job though, finding a boundary to keep Northern’s chances alive.

Three bowlers took two wickets apiece, but it was Shayne O’Connor who was the most economical of them, finishing with figures of two for 20 from four overs.

Earlier, Matthew Taylor had got Wellington off to a rollicking start, smashing 49 from 33 deliveries.

His support though came in dribs and drabs, with four other players making between 13 and 18 to help Wellington surpass the 150 mark and finish 154 for eight.

Joe Walker ended the tournament on a high, collecting four wickets in his four overs for 17.

The win saw Northern round off the podium in third, while Wellington finished two points clear of second placed Auckland to make it a very successful campaign despite the loss.

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