BJ Watling provided the substance as the Northern Knights began their HRV Cup Twenty20 campaign on a winning note at Rangiora today.
The 26-year-old compiled a career best T20 score of 75 before being run out off the last ball of the Knights’ innings which ended at 161 for six against the Canterbury Wizards at Rangiora’s MainPower Oval.
That proved to be just enough as the Wizards were held to 156 for five, with Knights fast bowler Tim Southee giving up just six runs in the last over when the Wizards required 12 for victory.
Watling produced the innings of the match as the Knights top order batted with intelligence after the Wizards inserted them.
A series of composed partnerships lifted them to 152 for two before late wickets, including that of Watling, who was run out seeking an unlikely third run off the last ball.
He had his six fours off 69 deliveries while Brad Wilson, Hamish Marshall and Scott Styris kept the runs coming at the other end.
Marshall made 30 off 16 balls, Wilson 25 off 17 and Styris 23 off 13.
The best of the Wizards bowlers was Mitchell Claydon who took two for 28 off four overs while Pakistani Yasir Arafat impressed to concede only 24 runs off his four.
The home side gave their target a good shake as allrounder Andrew Ellis and Brendon Diamanti threatened to steer them home as they began the last over from Southee within sight of victory.
But Southee, who’d given up 27 runs from his previous three overs, kept the scoring to a minimum to leave Diamanti on 42 not out off 24 balls, with six fours and one six, to back up the earlier good work of Dean Brownlie, who made 34 off 29, and Shanan Stewart, who contributed a run-a-ball 30.