Cricket: Andrews saves the day

By Cameron Leslie

Northland's top cricketers are getting a bit of a reputation for winning tight matches, this time in the last over on a ground described as being like "a paddock".

With Hamilton needing just three from the final over, it was Maungakaramea's Cody Andrews who was thrown the ball. And why not with the youngster coming off a six for 27 in club cricket last week.

Andrews stepped up and casually knocked over Hamilton's No 11 batsman off the first ball on Sunday, giving Northland the win and cementing their spot at the top of the Fergus Hickey and Brian Dunning combined competition.

Northland coach Stephen Cunis said Andrews' spell (four for 18, of which six runs were wides) at the death on Sunday showed how far his team had come in 12 months.

"So many of those games we've lost in the past and this year we've won," Cunis said. "It shows me players are confident.

"Everyone contributed, [even though] our fielding wasn't outstanding, but we made some good saves and took some good changes at key moments.

At those key moments we stood up and took the chances we needed to turn the game."

In his previous match for Northland Andrews peppered the Counties Manukau batsmen with bouncers on his way to four for 28 off 10. This time around, Andrews stepped up in a much tighter affair.

"Hamilton were six down needing something like 20 runs and Cody [Andrews] just went through them. They needed three to win and [their No9 batsmen] whacked it to Kurtley [Watson] who saved the boundary," Cunis said.

"The outfield, and the wicket, was low, slow and cracked. It was like playing in a paddock. For Kurtley to dive like that he could have lost his teeth.

"We've struggled for the last seven years and haven't played well at all. Last year, we played well and made some goals around what we wanted to take from our cricket ... [and] having the Parlanes involved makes a big difference."

Cunis also noted the contribution of Brad Kneebone who battled to 41 off 122 deliveries.

- Northern Advocate

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