NZC National Men’s Under-17 Tournament
Northern Districts Under-17 drew with Otago Under-17
4-5 January 2020
One of two high-scoring first-round games got underway with Otago captain Jacob Cumming opting to bowl first, only to be met with stoic resistance from ND opening batsman Alex Wilton.
Wilton batted for the next four hours — 66.4 overs — en route to an impressive innings of 147 off 198 balls, including 24 boundaries and three sixes.
After the ND opening stand had been broken at 77 for one, remarkably he achieved this without too much in the way of top order support until Kuwyn Price joined him at 91/3 and settled in for 119-run stand conducted over 22 overs, with Price reaching a half century off 64 balls.
Price picked up the pace before he was caught on 73, Jacob Murray finally breaking the stand.
The reintroduction of Toby Hart in the 63rd over for his second spell brought near-immediate rewards, however.
After picking up Corey Dickson caught with his fifth ball in the middle session, Hart got the big wicket of Wilton two overs later, then Payton Spencer as well to claim 3-51 with ND all out shortly afterwards for 343 on the stroke of tea.
Otago’s top order had the perfect response to a long two sessions in the field, with Cumming reaching his half century and a 100-run stand for the first wicket before stumps.
Day two began with the southerners 144 for no loss, but the new day brought an early wicket with Xavier Chisholm caught behind on 62 — Leon Marconi breaking through at 160 for one with the first of four catches in the innings for keeper Ben Vyver.
Cumming, the son of former BLACKCAPS batsman Craig Cumming, had been on 93 when he lost his opening partner. With the support of first drop Murray, he went on to 118 — then Murray later made it twin centuries for Otago, picking up where Cumming left off and reaching his 116 at a similar clip, despite losing a few partners along the way.
He took Otago past ND’s tally until eventually departing at 388 for six, and with such a sound platform even a five-wicket bag to Marconi (5-60) couldn’t prevent Otago from marching on to declare before tea at 438 for nine.
With the match destined for a draw, there was still something to celebrate for ND in their final innings with Jacob Parker posting an unbeaten century (105* off 74 balls) before the bails were lifted.
The next round (one-dayers) begins on Tuesday.