The New Zealand Over-50s cricket team have beaten Australia in the final of the Over-50s Tri-Series, held in Brisbane over the last 10 days. New Zealand went unbeaten in the tournament, defeating Australia (the reigning World Champions) twice and Sri Lanka once.
In the final, New Zealand comfortably chased down their target of 233, with the Wellington pair of Colin Owens (82 not out) and Richard Petrie (68) leading the way, adding 104 for the first wicket. Former Northern Districts first-class player Adil Somani put the finishing touches on the chase, with 44 from 40 deliveries.
Earlier, Somani had taken 2/41 with his leg-spinners and Auckland's Neil Ronaldson had taken 2/53.
After a slow start to the tournament, scoring a duck on debut, Somani finished strongly, also scoring 66 not out and taking 2 wickets as the GreyCaps beat Sri Lanka on Friday. Andrew Nuttall took 3/37 in that match and Petrie hit 42.
The first match had seen New Zealand chase successfully again, this time 178 to beat Australia on a heavy outfield at Peter Burge Oval. In that game, the chief destroyer with the ball was Wellington left-arm spinner Darren Sears, who took 4/25, before captain Adrian Dale (71) and Owens (50) marshalled the pursuit.
Overall, it was a wonderful all-round team effort from New Zealand, with all 14 players contributing at some point during the week. The Kiwis improved their overall record against Australia to 3 wins and 3 losses.
Dale moved into fourth place on the list of all-time run-scorers at Over-50s International level, with 471 runs, while Nuttall is second-equal on the wicket-takers' chart, with 24. Six players - Owens, Somani, Simon Dodds, Scott McHardy, Sears and Kelvin Scott - made their international debuts on the tour.
The next major event in New Zealand over-50s cricket is the Inter-Provincial Tournament, to be held in Mt. Maunganui in December. New Zealand is also sending two teams - New Zealand "A" and New Zealand "B" - to the Australian State Championships in Adelaide in November. This all leads up to the Over-50s Cricket World Cup to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in March of 2023.
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