NZC National Men’s Under-17 Tournament
Otago Under-17 beat Auckland Under-17 by 4 wickets
Still looking for their first win at Nationals, Auckland Under-17 suffered a heart-breaking, last-ball defeat to remain the only winless side in Lincoln.
Auckland captain Umang Patel had batted first after winning the toss, but failing to bat out their full 50 overs would prove costly for the city side against Otago.
At 199 for two in the 30th over, Auckland were on course for a big total, and even at 211 for four in the 33rd, the future was looking rosy for a powerhouse score.
But after solid contributions from Achindra Molamure (89 off 74) and Aakash Prasad (68 off 72) at the top in a 127-run second wicket stand, things fell apart somewhat after a rally from the Otago attack.
After the loss of Prasad in the 33rd over, Auckland lost their last six wickets for just 84 runs, dismissed in the 49th for 295.
A respectable one-day total to be sure, but leaving Otago bowler Finn Hurley with a spring in his step as he walked off with 4-61 on the smallish ground.
Otago then made a rock-solid start to their chase, opening batsman Xavier Chisholm racking up a century off 96 balls (7x4, 2x6), having operated at a run-a-ball clip throughout his innings.
Captain Jacob Cumming (63 off 68) was also in the mood for quick runs, the pair pouring on a 163-run stand for the first wicket before Cumming was finally bowled in the 24th over.
With more than half the target already accounted for, Otago was well set up - and Chisholm (135 off 119, including 22 boundaries and two sixes) kept going until the 40th over, Otago 241 for three by the time Auckland got him out.
Some tight bowling had kept Auckland in the game, however, and a few wickets at the back end increased the run pressure on Otago.
Ben Russell took the ball for Auckland's 50th over with Otago needed four to tie or five to win. It didn't bode well for Russell when he started with a wide, but he conceded only three singles off his next three balls.
With the scores tied, Otago now needed just one run off three balls, but Russell had Jacob Gilbert caught next ball, then a runout claimed an eager Jed Mockford first ball.
Suddenly Otago were in the pincers needing one run with a new man facing, but Aaron Hart squeaked it home with a single.