Whanganui rep cricketer Akash Gill showed staying power and skill with the bat for Central Districts to bring about a rare draw with Northern Districts at the Men's Under 19 National Tournament at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch on Tuesday.
Fresh from playing a major part in CD's comfortable win over Otago on Monday, Gill came to the crease at No 3 against Northern Districts on Tuesday afternoon chasing 257 in the 50-over match.
Gill smashed 100 off 111 balls hitting eight fours and a six during his 179 minutes at the crease. As his fellow batsmen fell by the wayside, Gill remained the calm, but determined steadying influence in the CD line-up.
Northern Districts U19 had been involved in a tied match on the opening day of the nationals. Now they were, remarkably, involved in another one as CD U19 all but hauled in their 257 for six, the scores finishing level.
New leaders Auckland meanwhile maintained a two-point lead at the top of the table over Wellington on the last day of one-day competition.
Opting to bat first on Tuesday, ND got off to a good start on Bert Sutcliffe Oval at 88 without loss before CD broke through with two wickets after the drinks break.
Opener Ollie White remained, and carried on to a half century after his opening stand with Jake Russ (35). When Quinn Childs finally had him caught, two wickets fell in the space of two deliveries as Childs trapped Katene Clarke as well in the 25th over.
However, ND captain Thorn Parkes's form continued to shine with a big unbeaten 86 at five, enjoying an unbroken 83-run stand with Ben Pomare (33 off 29) for the sixth wicket that got them up to their 257 for six.
Gill scored his century off 111 balls in reply, the first drop steadying and then leading CD's chase after both opening batsmen departed with the score on 25.
Captain Kurtis Weeks combined with him, scoring a half century as the pair put together an 83-run stand for the third wicket before Weeks was run out in the 24th over.
The support kept coming for Gill, however, with Nic Clarke reaching 37 and David Zohrab a quick 30 as they closed in on their target. Fergus Lellman was dangerous at the death as he picked up 3-44, but by the end of the 50th ND couldn't believe they had tied their second match in the space of a week, CD finishing on 257 for seven. The result meant ND stayed two points ahead of CD on the table, in third and fourth respectively.
All teams return today for the Twenty20 phase of the tournament when CD again clash with Otago.