Knights keep up unbeaten run
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Long-serving skipper James Marshall played a key role as the Northern Knights made it three from three in the Ford Trophy yesterday.
Marshall adroitly manipulated his bowlers to dismiss the Otago Volts for 207 in 46 overs in Invercargill, giving the Knights victory by 42 runs to keep them atop the domestic one-day competition standings.
“I thought James handled the bowling changes and field placements exceptionally well,” SkyCity Knights coach Grant Bradburn said.
“He really showed his experience and calmness as a leader; executed a very good run-out, took a great catch and was a significant part of our bowling effort. He chopped and changed the bowlers around quite a bit and the boys responded well.”
On a holding, slow wicket, the Knights made 249-7 batting first, getting contributions from a host of players while lacking a big individual score.
In-form Daryl Mitchell led the way with 54 off 72 balls, debutant Jono Hickey added 32 off 39 deliveries and allrounder Jono Boult’s 39 off just 34 balls at No 7 gave them a defendable tally.
“It was a very good win in terms of finding a way to defend what we thought was a reasonable score but we probably didn’t know if it was going to be enough on such a small ground,” Bradburn said.
“We got 180 runs in the last 30 overs, which was a great run home, but we weren’t quite as clinical at in the first third of the innings as we’d have liked to be.
“The pleasing thing was we didn’t lose wickets in clumps. Daryl stuck it out and didn’t throw his wicket away, James took some of the pressure of him and Jono Boult batted well at the end.”
Opener Sam Wells was the dangerman for the hosts, but when he was run out on 81 from 106 balls, the tail offered little resistance.
Seamers Brent Arnel and Anurag Verma led the way, with Arnel taking 2-29 from eight overs and new-ball partner Verma 3-32 from eight.
The Knights will play their fourth round match at Hamilton’s Seddon Park on Wednesday against the defending champion Central Stags, who have just one win from three matches.
Bradburn is hopeful of regaining the services this week of allrounder Corey Anderson, who played a starring role with the bat in the surprise win by the New Zealand XI over England in the warm-up four day match in Queenstown which ended on Saturday.
A side strain stopped Anderson from bowling and Bradburn said it’s possible they may look to use Anderson as a batsman only on Wednesday if he’s still not able to bowl, or keep him on the sidelines until Sunday’s fifth round match against the Canterbury Wizards in Mount Maunganui.
Legspinner Ish Sodhi will also have his fitness tested tomorrow after a quad strain ruled him out of the NZ XI side.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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