The Wellington Year 10 representative team completed an astonishing clean sweep of rivals Canterbury after wins in all three formats in wonderful conditions throughout. Their five day tour consisted of a Twenty20 match, two one-day matches and a two dayer played at various club grounds around Christchurch.
Sunday’s Twenty20 match begun proceedings and after winning the toss, a strong Wellington line up blasted a stunning 158 with Sam Gifkins, Christian Martin and Zac Donaldson all chipping in with handy 20s. The big Joseph Bowden, who has recently moved to Scots College, top scored with 40. An impressive spell of 4 for 14 from Ben Sears ripped through the heart of Canterbury to ensure they struggled their way to 98 all out. It was a man of the match performance from Sears that helped to stamp a mark on the hosts.
The 2-day fixture was held at the picturesque Sydenham Oval, which was the home of Stephen Fleming. With boundaries ranging from 80-100 metres, bigger than most international grounds, there was bound to be plenty of running. Wellington won the toss and batted first. At 15-4 after the first hour, it was left to stranded opener Bradley Johns and the middle order to show some fight. Wickets continued to tumble and at lunch things were near desperate at 96-6. In walks, St Pats Jack Nelson-Murray and Streams Kenny Tuffin. A breath taking partnership of courage, class and remarkable running between the wickets changed the momentum completely. Tuffin was out for 48, while his partner was caught 16 short of what would have been one sensational century. 248 all out was evidence of the character throughout this team.
Canterbury also struggled to assert any dominance and were under the pump for much of their first innings. The major highlight, being a bat-pad catch by Johns that has been widely regarded as the best catch in that position of all time. Daniel Pile, Sears and Bowden did the damage with the ball to have them dismissed for 127 at lunch on day 2, still 21 short of the dreaded follow on. Wellington captain Donaldson enforced exactly that and backed his side’s ability to attempt to pull off a rare and splendid yet unlikely outright Representative victory. Onslow’s Daniel Pile then produced a bowling spell of a lifetime to finish with 6-34, claiming the last 2 wickets off consecutive balls just as everything appeared lost. Wellington was left with a nervy 35 runs to score in 7 overs, something they achieved with 7 balls to spare.
As the winning runs were scored, many interested onlookers had come and stayed in the ground to witness a very special moment in a very special game of cricket. Outright wins in Rep cricket are few and far between and after 118 consecutive overs in the field, the boys could enjoy their wonderful performance.
The two 1-day games resulted in two victories for the boys from the capital. Chasing only 120 to win the first thanks to the ever reliable on the spot swing bowler Adam Blackwell who bowled 9 incredibly suffocating overs to grab 4-13. It was the second year in a row the Wellington College student bowled a match winning Rep spell to pick up man of the match. Caleb Tashkoff got the reply underway with a responsible knock and playing a key role in 3 of the winning partnerships, cruising to a comprehensive 6 wicket victory.
Wellington batted first in the second game after surprisingly being sent in, another tricky start resulted in more work for the tail. To the rescue again came Tuffin with 46 while skipper Donaldson produced a blistering 54 with a strike rate in excess of 100. Rachin Ravindra, a sensation for the future at only 12 years of age scored 40 and took 3-16 to put a stop to the dangerous start the Cantab’s made in pursuit of our 215 for victory. They ended up falling short by 40, with Martin also bagging 3 wickets in a fine spell.
Team – Z Donaldson (c), Jack Nelson Murray (St Pats Town), Adam Blackwell, Christian Martin (Wellington College), Bradley Johns, Rachin Ravindra, Caleb Tashkoff, Ben Sears (H.I.B.S), Daniel Pile, Sam Gifkins (Onslow), Joseph Bowden (Scots), Kenneth Tuffin (St Pats Stream)