Northern Districts have made it four wins on the trot, after narrowly defeating Central Districts by three wickets in their Provincial A Twenty20 match in Lincoln.
Despite a well-made 64 from David Meiring, Central were only able to post 127 for seven from their 20 overs. Northern’s response wasn’t convincing, but adequate enough as they grabbed an exciting last ball victory.
Their reply got off to a terrible start, losing both openers with just three runs on the board.
Bharat Popli and Jono Hickey recovered the situation somewhat, putting on a crucial 55 for the fourth wicket.
Popli was the first to succumb, trapped leg-before-wicket on 39 at the end of the 14th over. Hickey though remained and despite losing the odd partner at the other end, managed to take it to the final over.
With two balls remaining they needed just one run for victory, but amazingly Hickey was bowled off the penultimate ball for 47. The bowler, Andrew Mathieson, had given his side hope and taken it to the last delivery.
Luckily for Northern though they would get across the line, with the final ball going for four byes to seal the deal.
It was an unfortunate finish for Central, who fought back valiantly. Mathieson in particular was a warrior for them and finished the match with figures of four for 27 from four overs.
Earlier, one man had stolen the show in the first-innings, with Meiring clubbing 64 from 49 deliveries. His brilliant effort though was somewhat diluted by his team mates attempts with the bat – the other three in the top four combining for just 15.
With Meiring dismissed in the 17th over Central needed someone to see out the rest of the overs. The in-form Greg Hay was the man to do it, finishing 17 not out off 15 balls.
Tony Goodin was the best of the Northern bowlers, taking three wickets in his economical four overs for 18 runs.
Northern remain in third position with the victory and still have an opportunity to go higher.