Harden hits out early

00:00, Jan 15 2014

Nelson batsman Joel Harden made an immediate impact yesterday, scoring a century on day one of the national under-17 tournament in Wellington.

Batting at No 4, Harden topscored with 139 runs in Central Districts' impressive first-innings total of 338 in their two-day clash with Otago at Karori Park, after captain Brett Cameron won the toss and elected to bat in favourable conditions.

One of four Nelson players in the CD side, Harden faced 163 balls and batted for two hours and 43 minutes before his was the eighth wicket to fall, with the total at 322. His innings included 13 fours and five sixes.

He wasn't the only Nelson player to make an impression. Allrounder Josh Clarkson contributed 59 runs off 65 balls before capturing two early wickets in Otago's reply as Otago reached 65 for 2 at stumps.

Clarkson had earlier joined Harden in a solid 106-run fourth-wicket partnership, as the Athletic College Old Boys clubmates helped to lift the score through to 218 for 4, when Clarkson was bowled by Oliver McLelland in the 55th over. His innings included eight fours and two sixes.

Nelson legspinner Sam Field added 14 runs batting at No 6, while Nelson's fourth player, Liam Clark, was named 12th man. Harden and Field added 37 runs together for the fifth wicket.

Nathan Smith took 6-53 as Otago's best bowler.