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Kiwis hold out Aussies

Tuesday 27 April 2010 | Published in Regional

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The Kiwi Anzac cricket team will still be singing ‘we are the champions’ after outsmarting the Aussies on the cricket pitch last Saturday.

The day’s fun match was organised by Kiwi captain Mike Pynenburg and Aussie captain John Hobbs as an event to bring together New Zealand and Australian expats in the Anzac spirit.

The day also ran as a fundraiser to help Cook Islands Cricket with its under 17 development programme and future tours.

Twenty nine players competed, with both teams having a strong contingency of supporters.

The Australian supporters were in especially fine form as they decorated their tents in Aussie flags, themed balloons and banners to spur their team on.

Obligatory sledging from both camps got the day’s event underway.

The coin toss was won by Kiwi skipper Mike Pynenburg who elected to bat first.

Anthems from both countries were sung with pride followed by a fiery haka from the Kiwis and a minute’s silence in remembrance of our fallen war heros.

The Kiwis got off to a great start through opening pair Hamish Weir and Chad Campbell (in traditional Kiwi gumboots) whose big hitting had spectators and players scrambling to spare their cars from the damage the pair were inflicting.

After the pair’s four overs they had put on 37 runs and had placed the Kiwis squarely on the front foot.

Just as it appeared the matches momentum was shifting in favour of the Aussies, Kiwi pairing of Chris McGeown and Justin Rous had different plans.

McGeown launched into the Aussies bowling with two consecutive 6s, however after a quick bowling change the Aussies restricted the pair to singles and twos.

Remaining Kiwi batters made positive contributions with Brent Litherland smashing an out of ground six to provide a solid platform for last pair Mike Pynenburg and Jules Maher.

Pynenburg and Maher put the Aussie fielders under pressure with quick singles pushing the team’s total to 92.

Aussie skipper John Hobbs would have felt that 92 was a gettable total.

Hobbs began the Aussies run chase through the ace pairing of father and son combo, Tim and James Alchin.

The Alchin’s battled through the rain to collect 14 runs, for the loss of no wickets.

Next to the batting crease was another father/son pair in Chris and Tom Wicks who pushed the ball around confidently including two boundaries to keep the scoreboard ticking over with 23 runs, no wickets from four overs.

With the balance of the match evenly poised the Kiwis needed something special to pin back the gathering Aussie momentum and they didn’t disappoint as Pynerburg’s bowlers and fielders made it tough going for the Aussies.

In true ‘never say never’ Aussie fashion John Hobbs and Don Greenland grafted to keep the game level.

With the match still not favouring either side, enter Aussies secret weapons Dean Head and Andy Olah.

The pair stroked the ball effortlessly about the park to shift the momentum back in favour of the Aussies and amassing 32 runs to set the stage for a thrilling final four overs.

If final batting pair Big Rob Buick and Chris Cooper were nervous they didn’t look it as they handled the relentless pressure exerted by the Kiwis and pushed the Aussies total ever closer to victory.

With the Aussies needing 11 runs from the last over the Kiwis kept their heads and collected two wickets (including an outstretched diving screamer of a catch by Jules Maher) to take the match and with it the inaugural Anzac Battle of the Tasman Trophy.

Cook Islands Cricket would like to congratulate both teams on a great day and for the generosity of the players and supporters.