About the Match
Otago registered its first victory of the season by defeating Central Districts by 3 wickets in the last match they played at New Plymouth; they now have 6 points but continue to be at the bottom of the table, and will take on Central Districts yet again on 9th January at Invercargill. Central Districts are placed 5th with 10 points and they lost their previous game too against Northern Knights; they will be eager to go back to their winning ways before it’s too late for them to recover. It will be interesting to see the reverse match on Tuesday, wherein Otago will try to keep their winning momentum going to climb up the ladder.
Chasing 148 against the Stags, the batsmen did a commendable job with Rob Nicol and Neil Broom posting a 28-run opening stand. Anaru Kitchen scored 34 runs while Derek de Boorder scored 20 to help steer the team across the finish line with 10 balls to spare. Earlier, all-rounder spinner Anaru Kitchen claimed 3-24 while speedster Michael Rae also dismissed 3 opponents to restrict them to 147. Neil Wagner and Matthew Bacon took 3 wickets between them, and provide variety to the attack.
Against Northern Knights, while batting first, they could muster only 156 runs after a powerful 46 off 28 by bowler Josh Finnie. Shawn Hicks, Rob Nicol and Neil Broom kept the scoreboard ticking but others failed to impress with the bat. Jacob Duffy was the lone wicket-taker and they couldn’t defend the total, losing the match by 9 wickets.
They have won their first match of the season and will be determined now to continue with their winning momentum; with the in-form bowling attack, Otago can try to win again here.
The top-order collapsed while batting first against Otago with players like Jesse Ryder, Ben Smith, Will Young and Tom Bruce getting out on single digits. Bowlers Ben Wheeler and Seth Rance did well to take them to a respectable 147 by scoring 32 off 26 and 42 off 15 respectively. Pacers Seth Rance and Blair Tickner took 5 wickets between them while spinner Ajaz Patel dismissed 2 opponents, but they couldn’t defend the total, losing the match by 3 wickets.
Opener George Worker put up a stupendous 75 off 38 while batting first against Northern Knights; captain Will Young contributed with 43 runs but the others down the line succumbed under pressure.
Despite posting 181 runs, the bowlers failed to defend the total against the Knights, as some of them proved to be expensive. Spinner Ajaz Patel took 2 wickets while others like Bevan Small, Ben Wheeler and spinner George Worker took a wicket each, but they lost the match by 5 wickets.
They have lost previously against Otago but will be motivated to make a comeback here with a better performance on all fronts.
Otago having won against Central Districts before will have the psychological advantage and could pose a stiff challenge on Tuesday; however, we feel that the Stags with their well-balanced bowling attack can stifle the opponents and win this round