Beard adopts unlikely starring role as batsman

LOGAN SAVORY
Last updated 05:00 16/02/2013

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Nick Beard pulled off one of the more remarkable individual performances in Otago cricket history yesterday.

Late on Thursday, on day one of the Volts' Plunket Shield game against Auckland, the left-arm spinner walked to the batting crease as a nightwatchman.

When opener Aaron Redmond departed with less than six overs in the day, Otago sent in Beard to protect the batsmen late in the day.

He survived the remaining overs on Thursday before returning yesterday morning to produce something special.

The usual tailender batted the entire day, facing 335 balls for an unbeaten 160.

Along with Neil Broom he wrote his name in Otago's record books when the pair put on 239.

The stand eclipsed the fourth wicket stand by Southlanders Kevin Burns and Richard Hoskin who put on 235 when playing for Otago against Northern Districts in Hamilton in 1988.

Beard's knock yesterday also eclipsed his previous highest first-class score of 62. He also become the second nightwatchman this season to get a century in the Plunket Shield competition after Wellington's Scott Kuggeleijn scored an unbeaten 142 against Central Districts in December.

The Volts finished the day 217 runs ahead with six wickets in hand, putting them in a commanding position to grab yet another victory in what has been an outstanding season to date.

❏ Another bid for a test spot by Daniel Flynn and a bold batting display signalled a good day for the Northern Knights in Whangarei yesterday.

Flynn made 102 as the Knights reached 344-6 at stumps on day two against Wellington.

It was Flynn's 13th century for Northern Districts, pushing him further ahead as the province's most prolific century-maker and helping his hopes of selection for the Black Caps in their test series against England next month.

The Knights bowled Wellington out for 423 in the first over of play yesterday before beginning their pursuit of 400 runs within 110 overs to give them maximum batting points and to keep alive their slim hopes of defending the Plunket Shield.

❏ In Rangiora, Canterbury took a narrow first innings lead, bowling Central Districts out for 249, an advantage of three runs. Canterbury were 55-2 at stumps in their second innings.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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