Otago have pipped Northern by one wicket to claim first round points at the Provincial A tournament in Lincoln, Canterbury.
Following a delay at the start of the day, Northern were able to post 197 for seven from 47 overs thanks to a strong showing from the middle-order. It was revised to give Otago a target of 203 (47) – a total they reached with just four balls and one wicket in hand.
It looked ominous early, reduced to 45 for four.
Darren Broom (36) and Mark Craig (58) started the turn-around, with Craig remaining at the crease until Otago were 167 for six. His dismissal immediately after this through spelt trouble once again.
Wickets fell regularly, however three further cameos continued to give them a chance and a late 15 not out from Knowles sealed an unlikely Otago victory.
James Baker caused the most problems with the ball and finished with match analysis of three for 41 from ten overs.
Earlier, one of Northern’s young stars Joe Carter had anchored the start of his side’s innings. The 20 year-old was resilient at the crease, while the rest of the top-order crumbled to be 72 for four.
He fell for 41 in the 35th over, but his good work was continued by the middle order. A quick-fire 38 not out from Brett Hampton and 36 from Shane Gadsdon got them to within three of the 200 mark – a considerable improvement on what had looked likely at the half-way stage.
Sam Blakely finished as the best of the Otago bowlers and had figures of three for 42 from ten overs.