This was a round that proved that cricket in New Zealand in November is no less risky than in October.
The match between Central Districts was a complete washout with the highlight being the Auckland social media account reveling in talking about “sunny” Nelson.
Table leading Canterbury made short work of Northern Districts in Rangiora in a match that produced exactly 500 runs. The real drama was at the Basin Reserve.
Ken Rutherford is well known for liking a flutter. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to declarations. Hamish Rutherford declared Otago’s second inning closed midway through Day 3 leaving Wellington 278 to win, with the knowledge that rain was forecast for the final day.
The hosts were 7 down at stumps before the rain arrived. The last day was spent waiting for the mizzle to clear and the ground to dry. They finally got on the park after 5pm and Otago won the game by 84 runs just before the rain returned. A perfect declaration.
There was not a lot to talk about in Rangiora. There was only one half century in the entire match with Leo Carter scoring 50. Fraser Sheat did post his highest first class score of 36 batting at number 11 while his partner remained scoreless at the other end.
For Northern Districts the highest scorer across both innings was Katene Clarke with 25.
At the Basin there were twin half centuries for Rutherford and Dale Phillips – brother of one test batsman Glenn Phillips – with an unbeaten 83 in the second innings being his highest first class score.
But the highlight of the round was a timely return to form for Toom Blundell who scored 101 in the second innings. He won’t want to see replays of his dismissal too many times though with a panicky grab at the ball as he failed to clear it properly with his foot.
This is understood to be only the second such type of dismissal in New Zealand first class cricket.
Canterbury pair Will Williams and Fraser Sheat each picked up a five wicket bag for the second match in succession. With absolutely no stats to back up the claim, that would be an extremely rare occurrence; made even more remarkable by the fact that last week’s 5Wis were the first for both bowlers.
At the Basin Duffy had a match haul of 8 wickets.