Taking the wicket of a notable Black Caps opening batsman while on debut at first class level is no easy feat for any bowler.
But Northland's Cody Andrews did just that while running out for the Northern Knights as they hosted Canterbury in a Ford Trophy match at Mount Maunganui's Bay Oval yesterday.
Leading into his debut under calm, summery conditions at Bay Oval, Andrews said he was "quite excited to get out on the park and play" with the Knights XI instead of fronting as 12th man, which he's done for some time now.
Andrews made an impression in his List A Debut in the Ford Trophy competition with bowling figures of 2-40 off 8 overs.
Proving his worth from the get-go, Andrews snared the wicket of Tom Latham, stopping him on nine runs, before following this up with the wicket of Ken McClure, who tried to hook a short ball, but instead edged it into Knights' wicketkeeper BJ Watling's gloves.
The match was an absolute thriller that went down to the wire.
The Knights clinched the victory with just two balls to spare and with three wickets in hand, thanks to the steady nerve of Black Caps keeper/batsman BJ Watling who finished 47 not out off 40 balls.
Canterbury won the toss and elected to bat. The first Canterbury wicket fell at the 22 run mark and they were in trouble at five down with just 84 runs on the board. However a sterling partnership between captain Andrew Ellis and Cameron Fletcher was worth 88 runs. The visitors reached 172/6 when Fletcher was bowled by Anton Devcich for 41.
The Canterbury skipper continued his side's momentum to produce some handy partnerships with the tail enders. Canterbury finished their 50 overs at 251/8, with Ellis stranded on 96, needing a four of the last ball for his century.
Mount Maunganui and Bay of Plenty quick Tony Goodin, who bowled with genuine pace to grab 3/36 for the Knights. As well as Andrews, Anton Devcich took two wickets. Mitchell Santner, back with the Knights from Black Cap duty, took the key wicket of Peter Fulton.
Former Tauranga Boys' College students Daniel Flynn and Joe Carter opened for the Knights and posted 42 before captain Flynn was caught for 21. Carter went for 35, before Dean Brownlie and Devich put together a solid partnership. The loss of Brownlie for his side's top score of 67 saw the momentum swing in the visitors' favour, before Knights keeper Watling dug in.
The run rate crept up and the home side needed nearly 10 runs an over from the last four overs. However Watling's unbeaten knock of 47 resulted in a narrow win with just two balls to spare. James Baker was also in defiant form with an unbeaten 22 from 21 balls.
Canterbury 251/8 (A Ellis 96no, C Fletcher 41, R Hira 35; Tony Goodin 3/36, Cory Andrews 2/40, Anton Devcich 2/43) lost to Sky City Northern Knights 255/7 (Dean Brownlie 67, BJ Watling 47no, Joe Carter 35, Anton Devcich 26, James Baker 22no; TG Johnston 3/39)