Ki­wis take Gr­ey­caps se­ries to tie

The Leader (Tasman) - - GARDENING - TIM O'CON­NELL

Amidst the back­drop of ex-Cy­clone Gita, New Zealand’s over 50s crick­eters achieved what their younger Black Caps coun­ter­parts haven’t yet achieved in 2018.

The first-ever se­ries in­volv­ing the New Zealand Over-50s ended in a 1-1 se­ries re­sult against Aus­tralia in Nel­son last week.

Orig­i­nally sched­uled as a three-match se­ries, only two games were pos­si­ble af­ter in­clement weather forced the sec­ond game’s can­cel­la­tion on Tues­day.

New Zealand man­ager Jim Mor­ri­son said while both teams were dis­ap­pointed not to have played at Sax­ton Oval, due to a date clash with Opera in the Park, the se­ries was played ‘‘in won­der­ful spirit’’ on the al­ter­na­tive venues.

‘‘That would have been much nicer if we could have played [at Sax­ton] ... the pitches, partly due to weather, weren’t con­ducive to great cricket – that was be­yond our con­trol, but con­sid­er­ing the Aus­tralians were very happy with the hos­pi­tal­ity and the amount of ef­fort that went into host­ing them.’’

He was pleased with the swift progress made by the 14-strong Grey Caps squad, who had only as­sem­bled one day prior to the first game.

‘‘I think we more than com­peted with the Aus­tralians - we weren’t re­ally gelling in the first game be­cause we’d only met the day be­fore, but by the sec­ond game we were right into it, played some good cricket and de­served to win.’’

Game one took place last Mon­day at Mars­den Re­cre­ation Ground.

Led by a dogged 66 from Peter Sol­way, Aus­tralia toiled through to 151 all out, be­fore dis­miss­ing New Zealand for 138 to win by 13 runs.

Af­ter ef­fect­ing three stump­ings in the field, Nel­son wick­et­keeper Ma­son Robin­son stead­ied the Kiwi ship in a los­ing ef­fort with a well-com­piled 59.

Fol­low­ing the can­cel­la­tion of Tues­day’s match at Bright­wa­ter Do­main, teams had to wait un­til Thurs­day for the next fix­ture at Bright­wa­ter’s Con­way Oval.

A damp wicket from the overnight rain made bat­ting tricky for both teams.

A strong NZ bowl­ing ef­fort put the home side in charge early on, bowl­ing the Aussies out for 116.

Sol­way once again top scored for the vis­i­tors with 24, while Richard Petrie played chief de­stroyer in pick­ing up three wick­ets.

De­spite a mod­est tar­get, NZ looked vul­ner­a­ble when a mid-or­der col­lapse left them at 65/5.

How­ever, a 27-run con­tri­bu­tion from man-of-the-match Petrie helped get NZ home by four wick­ets, with cap­tain Nigel Fletcher fin­ish­ing on 16 not out.

An­drew Nut­tall was named Man of the Se­ries for tak­ing 4/15 and 3/14 in the two matches.

The Stir­ling Ham­man Cup - the tro­phy played for be­tween the two sides - will be on the line again when the two sides meet at the World Cup in Novem­ber/De­cem­ber.

A 16-man World Cup squad will be named in a cou­ple of months. Nom­i­na­tions can still be made at over50s­world­ Play­ers need to be aged 50 or above as of De­cem­ber 31, 2018 and should be play­ing reg­u­lar cricket.

Aus­tralian bats­man Peter Sol­way in ac­tion dur­ing the third over 50s in­ter­na­tional cricket match against NZ at Titoki Oval on Fri­day.

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