The First Eleven Cricket recorded a very prestigious win recently, playing against the Willows Cricket club in Loburn, Christchurch.
The game went right down to the wire!
Willows batted first on a magnificent wicket with a lightning-fast outfield. An excellent opening stand of 44 with Paul Russell dispatching any balls that were loose and Mason Robinson collecting and turning the strike over. Our bowlers were bowling good lines and troubled the batsman but anything that got through the field was 4. From 44 for 0, Southland Boys pegged the the runs back and picked up wickets to have the Willows 98 for 4. Willows got another partnership going between Ex Southland Boys’ player Jack Mockford 21 and Michael Singleton 34. Some excellent bowling from the big leftarmer Charlie Hopcroft who was starting to make the ball talk saw him finish with the impressive figures of 10 overs 5 for 34. Lachie Riley 10 overs 1 for 27, Nick Smaill 1 for 19 off 4 were the wicket takers. A runout saw Willows finish with 207. Dylan Hawkes 10 overs 0 for 29 Gregor Rutledge 7 overs 0 for 34, Duncah Tait 6 overs 0 for 34 and Shahen Wijesinghe 6 overs 0 for 22 all bowled tightly.
Southland Boys’ started the run chase with Duncan Tait 19 runs and Zac Harrington 11 setting up a platform. They put on 31 for the first wicket. Angus Burnett 17 continued to push the score along. In walked Nick Brown and he started to take control. The lefthander hit some superb cover drives right out of the textbook and he was punishing on any loose balls. Young Sam Smaill was his able lieutenant and he worked the ball around and showed maturity beyond his years. A great partnership developed and Southland Boys’ were in the drivers seat. 133 for 3 after 29 overs. With the dismissal of Brown 88 runs a superb and well constructed knock and then Smaill 35 Southland Boys were 195 for 6. Needing only 12 to win. The great uncertainly of sport reared its head and we found ourselves 203 for 9. Calmness prevailed from Shahen and Nick Smaill. They survived the mounting pressure and we hit the winnings wins to record an excellent victory.
Our thanks to the Willows club for organizing and running the game. For the boys and parents, it is certainly a highlight on the calendar and one they will remember for years to come. To Mr Dormer, Mr Rutledge and Mr Nuttall - Southland Boys’ thank you for your imput and for making this a fantastic occasion. To the umpires a big thanks. To our parents who made the trek, thank you.