The Year 10 NZCT team has cruised to a comfortable 6 wicket win over Wellington College in the Wellington final held on Sunday 6th March. Fielding first Campbell Webster (1-21 off 7.1) and Harrison Watt (1-16 off 8) started really strongly with exceptionally tight bowling. Harrison took the first wicket in his forth over bowling the dangerous Tim Robinson, having not even conceded a run at that point. Campbell who was bowling a fierce and accurate spell then followed with a wicket of his own and HIBS were firmly on top with Wellington College at 18-2 after 9 overs. Charlie Wilson and Nikunj Patel then took up the attack and continued the pressure before Charlie took the vital wicket of Hugh Morrison with Gerry Green taking a great catch in the covers after juggling it a couple of times. At 47-3 after 17 overs HIBS were piling on the pressure before Wellington College hit back with a good partnership to claw back into the match. Nikunj then struck to make it 101-4 after bowling with great pace. He then continued to bowl exceptionally well to take 4-24 off 8 overs and put the match firmly back in HIBS favour. One of these wickets was a catch of the season by wicket keeper Cole Kennedy, diving high to his right off a big edge, it was an absolute screamer. Kahu Gray also bowled a pacey couple of spells and clean bowled the Wellington College top scorer Rithwick Negi for 43, in a decisive blow. A run out from a direct hit by Harrison Watt and then a lightning strike run-out from Kobe Fleming wrapped up the innings at 139 all out, in the 37th over. The team was confident at the break of chasing down 140 but it was a final on a grass wicket at Barton Oval and so nothing was being taken for granted.
The run chase was all action up front with 12 runs scored in the first over before Wellington College struck with a great catch of their own at short cover, to remove Kobe Fleming early. This, along with another quick wicket and HIBS at 15-2, did not put off Liam Ferrier at the other end. Liam scored freely with some awesome batting and when he was bowled for 34 off 38 balls, HIBS were 58-3 and in control of the run chase. Charlie Wilson aka Rahul Dravid (The Wall) had come in when the score was 15-2 and his job was to build partnerships and consolidate the innings. Charlie proceeded to blunt the bowling and when he was dismissed with the score at 94-4, he had well and truly done his job. Nikunj Patel had since arrived at the crease and in a man of the match performance scored 42 runs off 46 balls to go with his 4-24 to see the team through. Cole Kennedy looked very comfortable at the other end with a classy 19 off 19 balls to take the victory in emphatic style and book the team a spot in the national finals in Palmerston North in early April. The team still had some strong batting to come if required and will certainly be a force to be reckoned with at Nationals.
Campbell Webster the teams co-captain received the trophy on the teams behalf from Wellington cricket. Campbell thanked the teams coaches Kevin Gray, Steve Wilson and Troy Johnson and also the large group of supporters who had turned up to witness the win.
Match Report: Gareth Fleming
Photos & Video: Peter Watt