Points this round: Canterbury 19, ND 5
Twenty-one-year-old Blake Coburn produced the best figures by a New Zealand left arm wrist spin bowler in just his second first-class outing for Canterbury.
Coburn’s 7-64 stands out from a taut final day in which Canterbury snatched outright points by just eight runs from still winless ND.
In his most devastating over, the youngster with the rare bowling style claimed three wickets in five balls, a triple wicket maiden no less, ensuring his home side stayed in the race as the match headed towards a thrilling finish in the final session in Rangiora.
From 91/2 at lunch to 181 for six at the tea break, ND had meanwhile kept doggedly in the hunt with capable Scott Kuggeleijn and Joe Walker still holding their ground, after Henry Cooper had been caught behind not long after reaching the only half century of the innings.
But Coburn’s wizardry undid Kuggeleijn, and then swept the carpet from under their feet until the ND camp was on the edge of their seats at 205 for nine. ND still needed a further 40 runs from their last pair; meanwhile Coburn was on a hat-trick.
Walker and Brent Arnel (above) settled down the wicket storm and fought back for ND, adding a further 31 runs before Coburn finally trapped Arnel on 16 to claim the match.
While the tail had done its darndest, ultimately ND’s top order hadn’t kicked on earlier in the day, letting a weakened team back into the game in spectacular fashion.
Canterbury now moves to its other home ground, Hagley Oval, to host the strong Central Stags while ND depart for their round three match at home at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.
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- Anton Devcich: 2500 first-class runs when he reached 52 in the first innings
- Anton Devcich: fourth first-class century
- Tim Johnston: second 5-wicket bag in first-class cricket
- Tim Johnston: Career best bowling in first-class cricket
- Will Williams: career best first class score. Previous best 21
Batting Bonus Points: Canterbury 3 (completed); Northern Districts 3 (completed)
Bowling Bonus Points: Northern Districts 2 (completed); Canterbury 4 (maximum achieved)
Allrounder Anton Devcich's century while batting at seven for ND was the standout performance of a match-defining third day in warm Rangiora conditions.
Thanks largely to Devcich's 117 off just 112 balls in ND's first innings (achieved with key late support from tailender Joe Walker, 33 off 37), the match is there for the taking for ND who are now after a second-innings total of 245 to score the outright points.
Defending champions Canterbury will meanwhile be wondering already what else the early season is going to throw at them, let alone ND, having earlier had the northerners right where they wanted: at 163 for seven in reply to Canterbury's 381.
After having lost Bharat Popli early in the day, ND had continued to stumble until former BLACKCAP Devcich took control of the scoreboard to push it up to 339, before becoming the final wicket to fall.
Canterbury spinner Tim Johnston had in the interim been made to work for the last wicket he needed to complete his 5-78 but, after that brief celebration, the day continued to be a forgettable one of the hosts as they were rolled for a second-innings 202 in just 54.3 overs.
It could have been worse, for Sydney-based import Daniel Sams belted six sixes in his quick 88 at seven, this time reaching a maiden half century on debut after having fallen just one short in the first innings. Only four Canterbury batsmen reached double figures, while ND's strong attack shared the wickets.
ND's batsmen will begin their chase for victory when the second innings kicks off on the final day.
Batting Bonus Points: Canterbury 4 (maximum achieved); Northern Districts 0 (in progress)
Bowling Bonus Points: Northern Districts 2 (completed); Canterbury 1 (in progress)
Four half centuries, solid partnerships in the middle order and yet Canterbury walked off the park in Rangiora on day two pondering a few what-ifs midway through round two.
It had been a mixed day for the battling defending champions, who had begun the day by resuming well placed on 289 for four.
Meanwhile, a decent ND attack featuring a steaming Scott Kuggeleijn, Jimmy Baker’s seam and seasoned spinner Anton Devcich worked collectively to put them all back in the pavilion for just 381, chipping away until the tail quickly collapsed.
Cole McConchie missed out on a looming century when he was trapped by Kuggeleijn on 85, triggering the landslide that saw five wickets fall for just 77 runs. Danny Sams, Canterbury’s Australian import for two rounds, was a godsend with his lightning quick 49 on debut at seven, but Kuggeleijn (3-88) prevented him reaching a half ton on debut while Canterbury captain Andrew Ellis, batting in the unusual position of 11 presumedly on account of his recently broken hand, was a sitting duck.
ND’s top order didn’t respond as strongly as they might have hoped, either, finding themselves 88 for three with captain Daniel Flynn, Henry Cooper and Dean Brownlie all back in the sheds for starts.
However, the potentially prodigious flourisher Bharat Popli continued to show that he’s back in touch this season, advancing to an unbeaten 76 to take ND to 156 for four by stumps.
Sams continued his good day, this time with the ball, to be 2-22 from 15 overs on debut and ND will begin day three looking to knock off a deficit of 225.
Batting Bonus Points: Canterbury 2 (in progress)
Bowling Bonus Points: Northern Districts 1 (in progress)
• Danny Sams (New South Wales A) first-class debut
The reinforcements arrived for Canterbury in the shape of returning captain Andrew Ellis, Ken McClure (back from a concussion stand-down) and Australian debutant Danny Sams, flown in from across the Tassie to take over from round-one ring-in Brett Hampton.
McClure was in the game early after the quick loss of opener Jack Boyle, and he helped set Canterbury on its track to a stronger start in this round, after Ellis win the toss in Rangiora.
McClure (79) combined with Chad Bowes (65) in an 148-run stand for the second wicket, Bowes reaching his half century shortly before lunch, off 87 balls (7x4); and the host’s hundred already on the scoreboard.
On the other side of the break, McClure would march on to his sixth first-class half century before falling on 79, taking Canterbury to a solid 189 for three.
At 289 for four by stumps, Canterbury could claim the day’s bragging rights, are well placed to capitalise against a strong Northern Districts attack that appeared to be still searching for answers.
Cole McConchie was unbeaten on 76 at stumps.