3rd Match: Otago v Northern Districts at Dunedin, 26-29 Nov 2001|
Northern Districts 2nd innings:
ND ACHIEVE NINE WICKET WIN AT THE 'BROOKPlay got underway at 11am ( 30 minutes late )on the 4th and final day of the State Championship match between Otago and Northern Districts at Carisbrook with the visitors needing just 31 runs for victory.
James Marshall 25no and Matthew Hart 32no continuing their innings from Day three played cautiously for the first two overs and with the introduction of leg-spinner Rob Smith Marshall in particular was very watchful. The mini run drought was interrupted in the nineteenth over when Marshall smashed Craig Pryor for a four through the covers but was out next ball LBW for 30. This was the tenth leg before wicket decision of the match and batsmen continued to be in fear of their pins.
Mark Bailey had joined Matthew Hart and at the conclusion of the 20th over the score had reached 75/1- just 23 runs required by Northern Districts for victory.
Matthew Hart unleashed a couple of good shots and the score advanced to 86/1 -12 runs needed.A plus for Otago at this stage was the bowling of Smith who was bowling very accurately and much improved from his first innings stint.
Even so Hart and Bailey cunningly milked the Otago attack and with 27 overs completed Bailey hit Smith for a big six overlong on the only three were required. A two backward of point saw the scores level and then at the start of the 29th over one run required with Chris Gaffaney to bowl and surprisingly he bowled a maiden.
The former Otago Captain Robbie Lawson was brought into the attack at the other end and off his fourth ball Bailey hit a four bringing up his sides hundred but more importantly for him a victory over Otago by nine wickets.
It had been a morning which started with some doubt of play but had concluded with a well deserved Northern Districts victory. They had batted better than Otago and had pressed home their advantage throughout when Otago was unable to do so with the ball.
Otago 215 and 185
Northern Districts 303 and 101/1
An outright victory to Northern Districts by nine wickets
Only requiring 31 runs for victory Northern Districts will be eager to get on the ground as soon as possible . The ceiling around Dunedin is quite low and a strong possibility exists that more rain could be in the offering.
Northern Districts have outplayed Otago in this match,the first round of the 2001-2002 first class season in New Zealand mainly due to a fine rear action fighback by their 8, 9 , and 10 batsmen, the chief contributor being their captain Robbie Hart with 102no and it would be a gross injustice if the weather was to robb them of a victory and six points on the championship table.
We can, however only wait the umpires decision on the start of play time.
Date-stamped : 29 Nov2001 - 14:38