For the third straight day, nothing could separate Northern Districts U17 and Auckland U17 at the top of the 2022/23 men's Under 17 nationals ladder.
Yet again, in the third round of one-day matches, both teams not only won, but won with a bonus point to head into the tournament rest day with a perfect record.
Meanwhile there were celebrations of a kind for Central Districts who, although they remain without a win, got to witness Manawatu's Matthew Rowe five-wicket bag in their spirited clash with Otago.
Northern Districts U17 beat Wellington U17 by 80 runs
Snehith Reddy stood out once again as the Northern Districts steam train barrelled on, Reddy top-scoring with a run-a-ball 82. The number four had plenty of support from his teammates though, as ND reached a solid 351/9 in their 50 overs, after electing to bat. Opener Xavier Bell got the ball rolling with 69 (also at run a ball pace) and helped put on 61 for the first wicket. Later, number six Aryandeep Mann smacked 76 off just 53 balls and the tail added some quick runs as ND made the most of every opportunity to score. Wellington started strong in reply, Will Julian and Ben Stephen putting on 99 for the first wicket. Then Stephen's dismissal led to a double strike in the 21st over, and ND got their tails up. Oliver Tewatiya produced another good knock of 88* off just 45 balls and he was unbeaten as he tried to scrap for his teammates to the end, but with ND losing wickets rapidly at the other end, the chase became fraught. Wicketkeeper Sam Clode finished with three stumpings with Bell and Gus Tustin each picking up 3-51, wrapping things up in the 44th over.
Otago U17 U17 beat Central Districts U17 by 59 runs
Bert Sutcliffe Oval
Central Districts was hungry for its first win and for the first time at tournament found themselves bowling first after having been sent in. It proved to be just the ticket for Matthew Rowe who took a very good five-wicket bag. Rowe is the cousin of WHITE FERN Hannah Rowe so it should come as little surprise to see bowling in the genes, and he had excellent assistance from his wicketkeeper Fred Mowat who stuck four catches in the innings off Rowe en route to the five-for. Otago's batters struggled to get going, 41 the top score as CD bowled them out for 173 in the 49th over. And yet, that would be enough for Otago to claim the match comfortably, after Central had another tough day with the bat - first drop Jacob Cotter top-scoring with just 34 as CD was bundled out for just 114 in the 31st over.
Auckland U17 beat Canterbury U17 by 43 runs
Canterbury was in the same boat as CD heading into the third one-dayer, still looking for lift-off from the bottom of the table. But it would be another frustrating day. Auckland elected to bat and put on a total of 212/9, Tom Jones continuing his flying start to the tournament with another top score of 80 for Auckland. But he lacked substantial support with Canterbury ripping through the lower order, and the end result was a gettable target for Canterbury, on the smallest of Lincolns' grounds. The hosts made an excellent start with an opening partnership of 50 before two wickets fell all of a sudden in the 12th over as Connor Greening went bang-bang. Ben Trillo carried on for a top score of 77 but, as in the Auckland innings, the top-heavy scorecard just fell away as the bowlers collectively began taking regular wickets. Trillo was a big loss at the halfway mark of the chase and Canterbury ran out of batters in the 43rd over, dismissed for 169.