About the Match
Canterbury won the recent contest against Otago by 7 runs to clinch their third victory and the two teams will be up against each other again on 26th December at Alexandra. Defending 157, the Canterbury bowlers put up a tremendous display of skills to stifle the opponents and emerge victorious on Friday; the win has surely boosted the morale of the players and they will be motivated to keep the momentum going. Otago, on the other hand, had previously defeated the Stags in a thriller of a match by 1 run and will be eager to go back to their winning ways; both teams have 12 points each and they will fight hard to climb up the ladder with another victory here.
Chasing 157 against Canterbury, Hamish Rutherford led from the front with a well-made 38 and middle-order batsman Michael Bracewell supported well with another 38 runs. However, others like Anaru Kitchen, Neil Broom, Josh Finnie and James Neesham failed to build steady partnerships and lost the match by 7 runs.
Earlier, the speedsters did a good job of containing the opposition’s run-flow with Neesham taking 2-25 while Christi Viljoen and Neil Wagner took 3 wickets between them. All-rounder Kitchen claimed one wicket and along with Josh Finnie provides the spin options.
Against Central Districts, the batsmen came out all guns blazing posting a gigantic 249 batting first; Rutherford was at his explosive best as he scored 106 off just 50 deliveries and set the foundation. Neil Broom and Kitchen kept the scoreboard ticking with 42 off 24 and 54 runs respectively. They are in good form to post a stiffer challenge this time around against Canterbury.
The openers yet again failed to fire with the bat against Otago but Peter Fulton and Henry Nicholls put up a fierce fight to steer the innings towards a respectable 157. While Fulton struck 64 runs, Nicholls posted 52 off 40 and they could repeat their good form in the upcoming match. Middle-order batsmen Andrew Ellis and Cam Fletcher have done well previously and could do well here.
Ben Hilfenhaus put up a brilliant effort with his pace skills, taking a stunning 5-23 to demolish Otago batsmen and successfully defend 157. He has proved to be a vital asset for the team and along with others like Matt Henry, Andrew Ellis and Ed Nuttall, who took 3-17 against Auckland, Canterbury demonstrates a strong pace attack.
Todd Astle and Tim Johnston bring variety to the bowling mix with their spin skills and can combine well to outwit the opponents. Overall, they have done well to steadily move up the table and will leave no stone unturned to continue with their winning momentum.
Canterbury dominated Otago batsmen in the previous encounter and they have strong performers who can help them win again; however, Otago seems better motivated to seek revenge and with its power-packed batting unit could make a comeback with a win here