NZC National Men’s Under-17 Tournament
Otago Under-17 beat Canterbury Under-17 by 2 wickets
• Canterbury won the 2019/20 NZ Under-17 title
Bert Sutcliffe Oval
11 January 2020
Canterbury U17 already had the tournament in the bag by the time captain Matt Boyle won the toss and batted against Otago in their final 50-over match, but the locals would be handed their first defeat in a thriller to close out an exciting week of age-group clashes.
On the personal front, Boyle ensured he capped a successful week in real style, producing a big ton - 144 off 128 balls, including 16 boundaries and five sixes - to finish as one of the tournament's top 10 runscorers.
He reached three figures off just 106 rocks, sharing a century stand with Scott Jannett (34) as he otherwise almost single-handedly propelled his side towards a position where they could kick on to a total of 316.
Opener Boyle finally departed in the 39th over at 232/6, and a quick 32 from Tom Flavell ensured they got up over the 300-mark before being dismissed with three balls left.
Boyle's dominance masked a good effort by Otago with the ball against his teammates, Toby Hart picking up 4-47 and captain Jacob Cumming finishing it off with 3-39.
That last-over strike was to prove crucial.
Cumming and Xavier Chisholm got the Otago reply off to the desired solid start with a 76-run opening partnership, before that man Boyle bowled Chisholm on 28.
Cumming was on the cusp of reaching a half century at a good clip before he was thwarted by Stan Ashwin, but first drop Jacob Murray played an important hand after his loss in just the 13th over, when 82/2 became 83/3 in the space of five balls.
Murray went on to a score of 72 off 69, taking his side past the 30-over mark before he was caught at 198 for four.
It was the start of a real fightback with the ball from Jordy Frew (4-50 off eight) but an equally gallant effort from the Otago lower order who found runs and formed partnerships to keep themselves in the hunt.
Canterbury temporarily gained the ascendancy towards the death, but a 55-run stand for the seventh between Finn Hurley (41) and Aaron Hart (26*) had proved niggly.
Down to the final over, now Otago still needed 10 to win but a smorgasbord of byes, leg byes and a wide helped their cause in the tight situation.
Otago needed two to win off the final ball, but Alex Wilson got the ball to the fence instead for a clutch two-wicket win to finish proceedings for another year on Bert Sutcliffe Oval.