On Sunday October 26, the annual cricket match between Northland and Auckland moved to the picturesque surrounds of Bourne Dean Domain at Kaipara Flats, where the Bob Cunis Trophy was again on the line. Northland captain, Neal Parlane, won the toss and batted first on a good looking batting wicket. Northland were quickly 30 for 3 but a measured partnership of 72 between Ben Hyde (66) and Brad Wilson (30) helped Northland get back into the game.
After the departure of Wilson, Ian Page (55no) joined Hyde and the pair took Northland through the batting power play. Hyde’s departure in the 41st over brought South African debutant, Tyler Lorton, to the crease. Lorton needed no time to find his feet as he helped Page elevate the scoring and his 32 at better than a run a ball was great to watch. Lorton’s dismissal bought in the Northern Knights wicket keeper, Rory Christopherson. Christopherson’s cameo of 21 off 12 balls, along with some power hitting from Page, took Northland through to 208 for 7.
Defending a relatively modest, but competitive total, Northland needed to start well with the ball. Kyran Dill led the way early with a good display of swing bowling and soon had Auckland Skipper Michael Barry on his way for 10. Dill didn’t quite receive the support he needed from the other end.
This enabled Auckland Aces player, Rob O’Donnell (100no) to keep the score ticking over on a slow outfield. O’Donnell never really looked in any danger as he took the game away from Northland with a mixture of clever stroke play and patience. Northland tried in vain to find a way through his defences using seven bowlers but O’Donnell stood firm to see Auckland home, 4 down in the 47th over.
Northland now move into the Fergus Hickey season as defending champions this weekend when they take on Bay of Plenty at Bay Oval, Tauranga.