CHRISTCHURCH Suburban batsman Matt Fielding stole the game away from South Canterbury with an unbeaten 139 from only 141 balls, despite batting with a runner for almost his entire innings, as Suburban scored the 8 runs required off the last over to seal victory.

Liam Crowley batting for Sth CanterburySouth Canterbury won the toss and batted at Aorangi Oval but was soon regretting the decision with the loss of Craig Davies on the first ball and Matt Barnes 2 runs later.

Dan Laming joined Grant Brookland to steady the ship as they saw the score through to 51 before Brookland was out. Shortly later Laming whose innings had begun to grow was annoyed with himself after skying a drive to backward point when he was on 37.

Ryan DeJoux followed run out soon after leaving the youthful pairing of Matt Mealings and Liam Crowley to resurrect the innings. Mealings was circumspect to begin with, but with the support of Crowley (17) his innings blossomed as they added 61 runs for the 6th wicket with Mealings showing real maturity on his way to 63 including 9 fours.

Skipper Todd Elliotte added 21 before Luke Taylor with an attacking 43 not out from only 34 balls added 58 runs with Paul Arkinstall for the ninth wicket and helped SC to post a competitive 238-9 from their 50 overs. For Suburban the honours were shared amongst 6 bowlers.

Now that SC had a good total to defend Elliotte was able to set semi attacking fields, especially to Kevin Teahan with 7/2 fields at times. Teahen continued his fine form of the weekend, bowling straight through, regularly beating the bat but conceded only 24 runs from his 10 overs.

At the other end Craig Hinton and Paul Arkinstall (who also bowled his 10 on the trot) each picked up a wicket in the early stages and helped to keep a tight rein on the scoring, as Suburban slipped behind the run rate required.

How often is it said that “catches win matches” and this again may have proved the case as Matt Fielding was twice dropped in the outfield during his innings. In time he made SC pay and although Elliotte only conceded 39 runs from his overs he was relying on Craig Davies and Dan Laming to bowl at the end.

What was hopefully an “inspired” bowling change turned the game Suburban’s way after Hinton was brought back to replace Davies and Fielding took the willow to him as he conceded 23 runs from that solitary over.

A return to Davies was “after the horse had bolted” and although Davies and Laming tried to control the scoring Suburban went into the last over needing 8 runs with a new batsman facing. He managed a single off the first ball and then two boundaries to Fielding gave the win to Suburban. A fine sunny day where some of the younger players gained valuable experience will bode well as South Canterbury play Mid Canterbury next weekend for the Ron Biggar Trophy

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