It has been a nice week for the Otago side as after registering a victory in the Super Smash 2021-22 against Northern Knights on Sunday, December 12, they defeated defending champions Canterbury in the Ford Trophy 2021-22 to register their first win in the tournament.
Otago rode on the bowling performance from Matthew Bacon who picked a four-wicket haul and then backed it up from an unbeaten fifty from Josh Finny to finish the 50 over match in only the 43rd over. Along with Finnie, skipper Neil Broom and Dale Phillips also played good hands with the bat to help in the chase.
The chase of 223 started cautiously for the hosts at the University Oval in Dunedin as openers Hamish Rutherford and Phillips added 48 for the first wicket and made sure that early overs of swing was negotiated. Phillips continued t hang around with skipper Broom who joined him after Rutherford was caught by Cam Fletcher off the bowling of Will Williams.
The duo had added 36 before Phillips was removed by Henry Shipley. Soon Nick Kelly followed and Otago were suddenly 87-3. It was then that Finney arrived and partnered his captain to a 95 run stand. During this partnership, Broom reached his fifty. But as he got out, Anaru Kitchen followed him as well, once again two wickets fell in a bunch.
But Finnie, who was well settled at the crease at 60 off 53 balls, made sure that there were no more casualties and an unbeaten 38 run stand with Michael Rippon saw his team through.
Earlier in the day, after winning the toss and deciding to field first, Otago broke early and got the wicket of Jock Boyle, who was removed by Matthew Bacon. Instead of getting back in grooves and playing cautiously, the Canterbury batters kept trying to play wayward shots and kept getting out, ultimately getting reduced to 90-6, before Henry Shipley paired up with Theo van Woerkom and the two added 96 for the seventh wicket to add some respectability to the Canterbury innings.
However, that stand was eventually broken by Bacon who then went on to pick four wickets in the entire game. Post the van Woerkom wicket, Shipley too departed after completing his fifty (55 off 67). Shipley was also the highest scorer in the Canterbury innings. In the end, the team got all out on 222 in the 50th over. Apart from Bacon’s four wickets, Kitchen picked three and Jacob Duffy two for Otago.