Canterbury have taken an unassailable lead in the Lincoln University National Under-19 Tournament, winning their fifth and final ODI match to go 12 points ahead of Central Districts in second place.
Three rounds remain in the tournament, all of which will be played in the Twenty20 format. While Canterbury have secured their position at the top of the podium, Central Districts, Auckland and Otago are all in the hunt for second and third.
Otago kept their hunt for a top three finish alive with a successful pursuit of Northern’s 301 with three wickets in hand. Auckland posted a comfortable 46 run victory over Wellington, while Canterbury claimed the title with a three wicket triumph over Central.
Central needed to win to challenge for the Cup, but were hampered by the loss of regular wickets in the first-innings. Five batsmen made scores of between 18 and 30, but no-one anchored the innings and they were dismissed for a disappointing 171 off 46.5 overs.
As in previous games, Hamish Robertson was the most threatening of the Canterbury bowlers and finished with analysis of four for 22 off ten overs.
Canterbury made hard work of the chase, suffering a mid-order collapse after Dylan Goldstone (55) and Ben Ward (52) had got their side off to a terrific start with an opening stand of 99.
Luckily Sam Chamberlain and Freddy Anderson came to their side’s rescue and finished off the task after 40.4 overs. The win sees Canterbury finish the One Day section of the tournament undefeated, playing a large part in their overall success.
Angus Schaw tried his best to thwart Canterbury, but in the end his three wickets wouldn’t stop Canterbury from prevailing.
While the silverware was now no longer up for grabs, Canterbury’s win gave Otago and Auckland a good chance to catch up with Central to push for second.
Auckland obliged willingly, holding Wellington to 198 after they’d originally finished 244 for eight. The 46 run victory mainly came down to Ben Horne, who scored 91 and took two wickets.
The recent NZ U-19 representative controlled his side’s innings brilliantly and found a capable partner in James Parlow (58). Both played at a good pace, with Horne particularly dynamic with 13 fours and three sixes to his name.
A string of small cameos towards the end of the innings lifted Auckland towards the 250 mark, eventually finishing just six runs short.
Wellington’s response saw eight players make solid starts at the crease – but like Central, they couldn’t find someone to remain at the crease for an extended period of time.
In the end Sam Le Gros top scored with 36, but after 45.5 overs his side were all out still well-short of their target.
Auckland now trail Central by a mere three points.
Otago sit just three points behind them though, having overcoming a whopping 301 made by Northern in the first-innings.
Somewhat surprisingly there were no centuries in the high scoring match, with five of Northern’s batsmen making 50s and almost everyone from Otago who batted making a considerable contribution.
Northern’s Thomas MacRury (65), Tim Seifert (53), Anish Desai (52) and Cameron Gibbons (57) did the majority of the work, while a number of others also chipped in. On the final ball they were all out, but not before setting Otago an imposing total.
However, they were stunned by the southerners who strung together a handful of partnerships to chip away at the target to great effect.
Captain Gregor Croudis was the only one to raise his bat, scoring a team high 67. But that’s not to say he was short on support, with only one player failing to make double digits.
It set up a special victory for Otago, who surpassed Northern’s total after 49.1 overs.
There will be two rounds of Twenty20 matches tomorrow, followed by a final round of the shorter format on Friday.
Central Districts 27
Northern Districts 12