NZC National Men’s Under 19 Tournament
ROUND THREE | 6 December 2019
Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln
CD U19 beat Northern Districts U19 by 7 runs
Needing 28 off the final two overs of a tight match, ND U19 had a valuable asset at the crease.
NZ U19 wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Pomare was closing in on a fast half century, his strike rate in the stratosphere.
The previous over, the 48th, Tom Bradburn (son of former BLACKCAPS and ND allrounder and coach Grant, and grandson of the late Wynne) had just helped ND stay in the chase with a six, but was caught off Thomas Zohrab the very next ball.
Now Pomare had the strike and, despite the big ask, the reputation to have CD feeling just a tad nervous.
The Central U19s had already survived one last-ball thriller this week, getting home with a boundary off the last ball against Otago. Now ND was faced with a similar scenario after Pomare took six runs off Joey Field's 49th.
A leg-bye saw new man Nathan Parkes turn the strike back over first ball of the 50th - and now the ball was in Pomare's court. He found a two, then - a six! With the same stroke his 50 was up off just 36 balls, three balls left, 13 runs needed.
Bowler Akhil Kumar held his nerve, however, and Pomare couldn't find his way over the rope again - CD winning by just seven runs in a great contest.
Earlier, CD captain Field had won the toss for his side yet again and, while both CD's opening batsmen reached half centuries, the side didn't really capitalise on the sound start.
Thomas Zohrab and Finn Raxworthy had put on 107 for the first wicket, broken when the impressive young gloveman Pomare stumped Zohrab (58) in the 24th over.
Bowler Michael Lanting quickly had two, meanwhile Sam Ferguson had made a quick exit at the hands of spinner Tim Pringle to have CD suddenly 120/3.
When Lanting had yesterday's damaging centurion Will Clark caught just a couple of overs later, ND had hauled themselves right back into the game with the ball.
CD almost batted out their overs regardless - their last man run out on the final ball, sewing together bits-and-pieces partnerships that got them up to 272. Just enough, as it turned out.
Lanting finished with 4-61 off his 10 overs and deserved a bag after removing four of the top five batsman after coming on at the 20-over mark, but it wasn't to be.
The lively Kumar ripped out a big early wicket in reply with NZ U19 rep Ollie White departing scoreless in the first over, but Northland's Luke Trigg (37) and Bay of Plenty's Fergus Lellman (51) did a good job steadying the ship with a 93-stand for the second wicket before Lellman lost his balance looking to sweep, and was bowled by Jordie Gard.
CD's Zohrab (3-44) fought back with two quick wickets before Pomare (60*) got going in the latter stages of the chase, with good support from Bradburn whose 40 had flown off 29 balls. Just an over too far for the ND lads as CD did it again.