Cricket: Kaikorai wins final

Kaikorai batsman Saj Senadeera looks to guide the ball through the off side during the Otago...
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.


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