The South Canterbury Cricket Association (in conjunction with the CCA) again put on a successful top level cricket match at our home venue of Aorangi Oval.
With temperatures in the mid twenties, blue sky, and 2000 + in attendance, the Twenty20 match between the Otago Volts and Canterbury Wizards lived up to all expectations, and the SCCA are sure the families and spectators who came along found they were thoroughly entertained with Black Caps players like Brendan & Nathan McCullum, Dean Brownlie and Rob Nicol as well as International players like Yasir Arafat and Dimitri Mascarenhas also playing.
Canterbury Wizards’ overseas player, Yasir Arafat, earned his pay-cheque, by holding his nerve and bowling a tight final over to give his team a hard-fought six-run win over the Otago Volts in domestic Twenty20 cricket action at Timaru’s Aorangi Oval yesterday.
The Volts needed 11 runs to win from the final over, but the Pakistani allrounder restricted them to just five.
Earlier, the boundary rope saw plenty of action as Canterbury scored 198 for 7 from their 20 overs thanks to 14 sixes and a bounty of cameo efforts from their top and middle-order batsmen.
A match high of 77 from Neil Broom looked to be enough to see the Volts record their second victory of the competition, but bowling figures of four for 43 from Canterbury’s young pace bowler Matt Henry and the skillful death bowling from Arafat saw the Wizards restrict them to 192 for eight and avoid back-to-back defeats in the opening two rounds.
Rob Nicol top-scored for Canterbury with 44, he also took two wickets with his spinners and two catches in the field.
Andrew Ellis and Brendon Diamanti put on 49 runs in three overs for the sixth wicket for Canterbury after their innings looked to have stalled in the middle overs.
Off-spinner Nick Beard was the pick of the Otago bowlers, as he finished with one for 21 from four overs, when the majority of his fellow bowlers came in for some harsh punishment. Canterbury hit 14 sixes in their innings while Otago hit seven.
Otago looked set for the win after Broom and Jimmy Neesham (17) put on 70 for the fifth wicket while keeping up with the required run-rate of 10 an over.
However, when both departed off consecutive deliveries from the bowling of Henry in the 18th over, Canterbury seized the momentum to win the match.
Below is a gallery of random photos taken during the day. Special thanks to Hayden Leonard from HLPhotoz for allowing us to use some great close-up action shots of the stars in action.