The Cricket Express Auckland Men’s U19s have risen to several challenges through the opening three days of the National tournament in Lincoln to remain in contention.
Round One | 50 Overs vs. Canterbury
The opening match of the tournament was a thriller with Auckland falling a mere eight runs short despite Jock McKenzie’s confident 70 from 84 balls and Nikith Perera’s fighting 49. Earlier, Canterbury made 235 all out in the face of fine efforts by Yahya Zeb (3-37), and Muhammed Abbas, Adithya Ashok and Perera picking up two wickets apiece.
Canterbury 235 (R Mariu 54, N Lidstone 43, Z Foulkes 34, J Frew 31, Y Zeb 3-37) defeated Auckland 227/9 (J McKenzie 70, N Perera 49) by eight runs.
Round Two | 50 Overs vs. Northern Districts
Auckland bounced back in a big way against Northern Districts, with Perera again featuring with the bat. Batting at eight, the skipper led a stirring fightback hitting 79 off 88 balls to lift his side to 215. Muhammed Abbas then knocked the top off the ND order and there was no way back for our neighbours. Abbas finished with 3-21, while Adithya Ashok claimed 3-27 as ND were eventually bowled out for 81.
Auckland 215 (N Perera 79, J Stephan 36, M Marconi 3-21, N Parkes 3-23) defeated Northern Districts 81 (M Abbas 3-21, A Ashok 3-27) by 134 runs.
Round Three | 50 Overs vs. Otago
Both sides showed plenty of character in this one, but Auckland class shone through, in the end, completing a hefty chase to win by four wickets. Auckland had Otago well and truly on ropes at 138/9 before Benji Culhane (123) and Ben Seavill (29) added 153 for the ninth wicket. For Auckland, six bowlers put a wicket beside their name with Adithya Ashok (3-46) again impressive. In reply, Nathan Robinson (66), Joshua Stephan (48), Jock McKenzie (44), Bevon-John Jacobs (41) and Ashok (30*) all played a hand in ensuring victory.
Otago 291 (B Culhane 123, B Wheeler-Greenall 44, T Dempster 32, A Ashok 3-36) lost to Auckland 293/6 (N Robinson 66, J Stephan 48, J McKenzie 44, BJ Jacobs 41, A Ashok 30*) by four wickets.
Remaining Fixtures | 50 overs vs. Central Districts (21 Dec) | T20 vs. Wellington (22 Dec) | T20 vs. Canterbury (22 Dec) | T20 vs. Wellington (23 Dec)