Oxford University cricketing glory for ex-Taieri College pupil

Ross Haines hits the Cambridge bowler for six, winning the game for the Oxford University Blues side. Photo by Matt Henderson.
Ross Haines hits the Cambridge bowler for six, winning the game for the Oxford University Blues side. Photo by Matt Henderson.
Former Taieri College pupil Ross Haines was the hero of Oxford University when he secured an unlikely victory against Cambridge University recently.

Chasing a total of 177, Oxford was 82 for 7 wickets when Haines came to the crease.

Haines proceeded to score steadily, but his batting partners soon gave away their wickets.

Oxford needed 41 runs from only 45 balls when the ninth wicket fell, but he kept his head.

The scholar from the Taieri hit three sixes and four fours to claw back victory for Oxford, which included a six from the first ball of the last over to win the game.

He said he would not forget his innings at the Lord's Cricket Ground in London.

''Walking off and being mobbed by my team-mates on the steps up to the Long Room was certainly a particular memory I'll treasure,'' he said.

''Lord's was unreal - the outfield was like a carpet, the pitch was phenomenal.''

Haines' father Stephen said his son would not have been intimidated by the situation.

''He doesn't get overexcited, he's got an even temperament.''

''He plays in a calculated way.''

Stephen Haines said his wife and he watched the match events unfold on the Cric-info website.

''We were proud as punch.''

Ross Haines was an Otago Daily Times Class Act winner in his final year at Taieri College in 2007, and gained a bachelor of science with first-class honours at the University of Otago.

In 2010 he received a Woolf Fisher scholarship worth $100,000 a year, enabling him to study at the prestigious Oxford University.

Haines said he was thankful for his father's willingness to bowl at Taieri Cricket Club net sessions, as well as Taieri College coaches such as Athol Cromarty, who has since died.

Haines' advice to young people with aspirations: ''This just shows what you can achieve with a bit of dedication and hard work - put the hard yards in, and rewards do come.''

- Robert Steven