Nelson Griffins beat Horowhenua by two wickets in Chapple Cup thriller
Willem Ludick led superbly from the front to help steer the Nelson Griffins to a thrilling two-wicket win over Horowhenua-Kapiti at the annual Central Districts Chapple Cup cricket tournament in Napier on Friday.
In his first match as Nelson skipper, Ludick took four wickets and contributed an invaluable 81 off 59 balls with the bat as Nelson eventually chased down their massive 312-run target with just six balls and two wickets to spare.
Number nine batsman Joe O'Connor eventually sealed the win with a six off the last ball of the 49th over to end proceedings at 315-8. But it had been the earlier efforts of Ludick and fellow South African Evan Jones that provided the foundation for Nelson's epic run chase.
Horowhenua's impressive innings of 311-9, after being sent in to bat, had been anchored by a century from opening batsman Matt Good who finished with 138 off 123 balls.
His 94-run third wicket stand with Dion Sanson (39) was the biggest of the innings, with Sri Lankan allrounder Ramesh Subasinghe also delivering 33 runs.
But after finishing with Nelson's best bowling return of 4-39 off his 10 overs, Ludick then confidently set about chasing down their formidable target.
Opening batsman Tom Ingham (42) and Greg Hay (41) had offered positive responses at the top of Nelson's order, Hay joining Jones in an 81-run third wicket partnership to provide a useful platform.
Then the two South Africans came together, Jones and Ludick piling on a further 72 runs for the fourth wicket before Jones finally went for 87 off 64 balls, hitting four fours and five sixes, at 222-4.
Ludick continued to fight before his eventual departure at 297-7 in the 47th over signalled the end of a heroic contribution. Ludick's innings included seven fours and four sixes.
Proceedings got somewhat tense late in the piece as Nelson also lost Adam Leonard at 304-8 in the 48th over. But O'Connor and Felix Murray held their nerve to steer Nelson through, O'Connor celebrating the win in typically cavalier fashion with Nelson's 12th and final six of the innings.
M Good c H Ingham b Leonard 138
W Na Nagara run out 7
T Waduge c Clark b Ludick 16
D Sanson c Clark b Ludick 39
J Pinfold std Clark b Jones 20
R Subasinghe run out 33
R McCone b Ludick 7
K Fahey c Murray b O'Connor 14
F Na Nagara b Ludick 1
B Te Tomo not out 5
D Kennett not out 0
Extras (7b, 11lb, 10w, 3nb) 31
Total (for 9 wkts, 50 overs) 311
Fall: 43, 68, 162, 217, 239, 257, 285, 293, 306
Bowling: H Ingham 6-0-43-0, S Baxendine 4-0-33-0, W Ludick 10-1-39-4, J O'Connor 10-1-69-1, F Murray 8-0-48-0, A Leonard 9-1-47-1, E Jones 3-0-14-1.
T Ingham c Te Tomo b Good 42
M Thelin c W Na Nagara b Kennett 14
G Hay std W Na Nagara b Sanson 41
E Jones c Good b Subasinghe 87
W Ludick c Fahey b McCone 81
T Cross c Good b Sanson 12
N Clark b Subasinghe 7
A Leonard b Subasinghe 7
J O'Connor not out 11
F Murray not out 1
Extras (3lb, 8w, 1nb) 12
Total (for 8 wks, 48.6 overs) 315
Fall: 41, 69, 150, 222, 242, 271, 297, 304
Bowling: R McCone 10-2-47-1, D Kennett 10-0-66-1, M Good 4-0-19-1, D Sanson 8-0-56-2, R Subasinghe 10-0-58-2, T Waduge 3-0-23-0, K Fahey 4-0-43-1.
Result: Nelson win by 2 wickets.