Last-ball finish sets up Auckland v Canterbury final in National Under-19 tournament
In a dramatic last-ball finish, Auckland today defeated Canterbury to win the right to face their southern rivals again tomorrow in the National Under-19 final at Lincoln.
With Canterbury already a guaranteed finalist, interest today was on who would join them. Auckland, Wellington and Central Districts were all in the frame and there were a number of scenarios that were possible as the day unfolded – but if Auckland was to beat Canterbury nothing else would matter.
Wellington comprehensively beat Northern Districts to earn a bonus point, putting Central Districts out of contention for a finals spot. Then in the last match of the day to finish, Auckland beat Canterbury with a ball to spare – setting up a Canterbury v Auckland final.
Canterbury v Auckland
Canterbury won the toss and elected to bat. Openers Tom Latham and Bill Walsh put on 77 for the first wicket, and Walsh top scored with 80 off 133 balls. After useful contributions from Matt Laffey with 26 and Logan Van Beek with 29, at the end of 50 overs Canterbury had scored 241/7. Alex MacDuff and James Coughlan each took two wickets for Auckland.
In reply Auckland started cautiously but with the run rate climbing it was the last power play – taken between overs 41 and 46 – that did the damage with Auckland moving from 161/5 to 223/5. They scored 81 in the last 10 overs and with five singles in the last over they sealed a dramatic win and a place in the final. Tony Manning was unbeaten on 99 off 130 balls and Jonathon Bassett-Graham hit a whirlwind 38 off 20 balls. Matt Farrant and Matt McEwan each took three wickets.
• Canterbury 241/7 (Tom Latham 33, Bill Walsh 80) lost to Auckland 242/7 (Tony Manning 99*, Jonathon Basset-Graham 38, Matt Farrant 3/45, Matt McEwan 3/49) by 3 wickets
Wellington v Northern Districts
On the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Northern Districts won the toss and fielded. Wellington was in trouble at 16/2 before the middle order rallied, led by Tom Blundell with 37 off 82 balls and Chamika Gajanayaki who made 42 not out off 94 balls. They weren’t able to press on, however, and at the end of 50 overs were 181/8. For ND Anurag Verma took 2/47. Northern started positively and after two overs were 17 without loss before disaster struck and at 29/6 it was effectively game over. They lost wickets regularly and only Josh Matthews with 33 off 73 balls offered any resistance in the total of 78. For Wellington, pace bowler Ili Tugaga took 4/14 off 7 overs and Kyle Hitchman and Harsh Tataria each took two wickets.
• Wellington 181/8 Tom Blundell 37, Chamika Gajanayaki 42*) beat Northern Districts 78 (Josh Matthews 33*, Ili Tugaga 4/14) by 103 runs
Central Districts v Otago
On Lincoln Green, Otago won the toss and fielded. Central Districts scored 225/9 – the backbone of the innings coming from Andy Dodd with 69 off 93 balls and Bronson Meehan with 51 not out from 73 balls. Brad Soper, Mark Souter, James Filler and Nick Beard all took two wickets each for Otago. In reply Otgao reached 228 in 46.3 overs. George Spittle scored 100 not out off 199 balls including 10 fours, and he put on 121 with Geordie Scott for the second wicket. Scott scored 61 off 80 balls, and Michael Bracewell chipped in with 38 off 49 balls
• Central Districts 225/9 (Andy Dodd 69, Bronson Meehan 51*) lost to Otago 228/3 (Geordie Scott 61, George Spittle 100*, Michael Bracewell 38) by 7 wickets
Points at the end of Round 6
Finals day tomorrow:
1 v 2 Canterbury v Auckland (Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln)
3 v 4 Wellington v Otago (Lincoln No.3)
5 v 6 Central Districts v Northern Districts (Lincoln Green)
Otago qualified ahead of CD – they both had two wins (combined outright and one day wins; first innings lead doesn’t count as a win) but as Otago beat CD in their clash they finish higher.