Otago have pulled off an absolute shock victory to beat competition leaders Central Districts by one run in the Under-18 tournament in Lincoln.
Needing just 13 runs with five wickets in hand, Central capitulated to give Otago an incredible victory and let slip a little the strangle-hold they held on the competition.
Having won the toss Otago opted to bat first and found success early. Gregor Croudis and Tom Griffin opened up their innings with an 88 run partnership to show some real resistance to a talented Central bowling attack.
Unfortunately both fell short of their half centuries with Croudis dismissed on 48 and Griffin out on an innings high 49.
The remainder of the southerner’s batsmen chipped in with valuable contributions to help their side finish the innings at 215 for eight.
Captain Angus Schaw showed he can be just as handy with the ball as the bat and collected three for 39 from his ten overs.
Central would have been confident of chasing down 215 and for all money looked like they were going to do so easily.
The top order was again effective with Matthew Edmondson top scoring with 69. His good work was helped out with starts from numerous players around him.
Angus Schaw also added to Edmondson’s good work and made another half century reaching 50 off 42 balls. All Central had to do now was get the last 15 runs.
At only five down it seemed to be a sure thing, but what unfolded was the most dramatic turn-around that tournament organisers had even seen.
Central lost their last four wickets for an outrageous seven run win. With just one run required to draw scores level, Otago got their tenth and final wicket to secure a staggering one run win after 43.2 overs.
Jack Hunter was largely responsible for the surreal victory and finished with figures of three for 18 from 8.2 overs. All three wickets came late on the innings.
Not the players, the coaches, or the crowd could believe the outcome of the game, but all witnessed something special.
Central Districts – 20
Otago – 16
Auckland – 15
Canterbury – 13
Wellington – 8
Northern Districts – 6