Cricket: Kaikorai wins final

Kaikorai batsman Saj Senadeera looks to guide the ball through the off side during the Otago-Southland knockout final at Bishopscourt yesterday. The Invercargill Metro wicketkeeper is Ryan Duffy. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Kaikorai batsman Saj Senadeera looks to guide the ball through the off side during the Otago-Southland knockout final at Bishopscourt yesterday. The Invercargill Metro wicketkeeper is Ryan Duffy. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Dunedin cricket club Kaikorai will represent the Otago and Southland region in the national knockout tournament in Auckland at Easter, after beating Invercargill's Metro Tigers yesterday.

Bathed in sunshine, Bishopscourt looked set to produce an enthralling final between the two sides but the match turned into a one-sided fixture.

The Kaikorai bowlers bowled with skill and precision to embarrass the more southern Metro side, winning by 142 runs.

Opening bowlers Tom Myles (four for 17) and Will Deerness (two for 10), destroyed any chance Metro had of chasing down 199 for victory.

Batting first, Kaikorai started slowly and was struggling at 26 for three, before Saj Senadeera (32) and Shamika Rodrigo (52) combined for a 73-run partnership to help control the innings.

After Senadeera's dismissal, Tim Muir came to the crease and hit 48 off 46 balls, before Will Deerness (22), hit a late flurry to finish the innings off and give Kaikorai a total of 198 to defend.

Metro would have felt confident chasing 199 for the win, after an impressive performance against Green Island a fortnight ago.

However, Deerness and Muir ripped through the openers, dismissing three of the first four batsmen for ducks.

The only stand of solidarity by the Metro batsmen was between Hamish Cooke and Mark Beer, the couple hitting 38 runs for the seventh wicket, before spinner Tim Muir came into the attack and skittled the Metro batsmen.

Muir finished with figures of three wickets for three runs.

Kaikorai captain Iain Robertson said it was good for his young team to win the contest.

''After the good year last year, it was good to pick up things [this season] and win something.''

Robertson attributed the team's success in making the national finals to the players that continually stepped up all year when numbers were thin.

''It paid off today, and also playing at home helped,'' he said.

By John McKenzie.


Loving the thought

Loving the thought in there of Mushtaq Moses making it as a top order batsman! So long as Gutschlag is somewhere in the background setting up some  fireworks, in memory of his well known display in Gore.

Dream team of ragtags born out of disaster

Interesting scenario, and worth a ponder at the very least.

Opening bats: Danny Glover - nuggety, attacking batsman. Proven at this level during Easter Trips gone by. A question mark over his recent break from the game though; Spencer Quinn - Worth 20-30 with the bat, and probably 20 in the feild, the numbers speak for themselves.

First drop: Gavin Douglas - Dont let the fact he is Lachie Weir's only senior wicket fool you, this guy is class through and through.

Middle order: Jason Glover - Impressive strike rate, and certainly would provide that 'mongrel' edge in the field; The Grocer Duffy - Ex Auckland selector who would provide experience par excellence. Also back up wicketkeeping option.

Allrounders: Gary Paine - Still plying the trade for Taradale seniors in the Hawkes Bay, and cuurent skipper of the prem team up there. Everyteam needs their 'Backstreet Boy' ala Stuart Broad;Ali 'Fish' Neilson(skipper) - You know pretty much everything that needs said about this colossus has been said.

Wicketkeeper: Andy Wilmott - Unlucky not to gain higher honours during his prime years.

Spinner: Andy Winn - Currently plying his cricket trade year after year in the lucrative and competitive leagues of Northwest Africa. Has the ability to bat up the order also.

Quick men: Lee Flockton - From a fine pedigree. Currently residing in Wellington, and keeping in form via the indoor curcuit; Andrew Milligan - Primarily used as a batsman in his time with the club, though few will forget his 8 for not many against a powerful OBHS 1st XI unit. NZ U19 rep. Was unfortunate enough to be given out LBW once out of every one time.

Reserves: A Dowling - A quicky who seemed even quicker from 16 meters in the nets up at the 'court; R Smith - Leggy with the ability to give a real rip. Also had the wrong un in the lunchbox of skills; D Nicholson - Middle order bat, plus easily and undetectably exchangeable with his twin brother if injury occurs; A Moses - Top order bat. 

Makings of a great movie...

I agree with Tyler. It would be good to see Ant Dowling landing the ball on a good length again (albeit 2 metres off to the side).
Come to think of it I think this could be the plot for a great movie.

The opening of the movie would start with the outstanding young Kaikorai team and 2nd grade spectator counterparts boarding a plane to travel to the national tournament as hot favourites. Tragically the plane crashes into the Southern Alps and all aboard are lost.  Just when it seems that

Kaikorai has lost its only chance to achieve ultimate glory Andrew Dawson launches an ambitious plan to field a team however unlikely their chances are of success.  In a special emergency committee meeting Alister Neilson is appointed to select and captain a rag-tag group of former Kaik players to carry the hopes of a devastated club. 

Obviously we know the outcome - Spencer Quinn plays a "No-look, down on one knee, reverse hook paddle pull" for 6 off last ball to claim the glory!

Who should Alister select?

Personally I think Gavin Douglas should fill the left hand openers role with R Smith as spin option to ensure the Kaik batters have a decent target to chase. 

A long time coming

Good to see for the Kaik. I agree with the above comment. It would be fitting to have the experience of Alistair 'Manga' Neilson regardless of the potential 'excess' charges on the fares.

It would be a real throwback to the summer of '88 for him, and with him potentially reliving former glories, anything is possible for this powerful unit. 

My pick? Kaik to win, with A Neilson having a ripper of a tourney. Also keep an eye out for Anthony Dowling to come out of retirement and play a key role with the ball.

Kaikorai chances in final

Iain Robertson and Will Deerness are good players, but if Kaikorai are to go all the way there needs to be some serious consideration to selecting Alister Neilson.

Neilson might not be as quick as he used to be but he is a lot more of a complete player, offering either the big hitting fire power at the top of the order or further down depending on the situation.

He is also pretty handy around the field, including in the wicket keeping role.