Northern have come out on top in a low scoring affair in the first round of the Provincial A tournament in Lincoln.
In a game shortened to 39 overs per innings due to rain, Northern seemed to be in control before some late heroics from Canterbury’s Ryan McCone got his team within a stroke of winning.
Northern were put into bat by Canterbury and while the top three all made small starts, none of them could push on to considerable scores.
In fact Northern looked to be in significant trouble until middle order batsmen Jono Boult showed the top order how it was done.
Boult recorded the match’s top score with a sensible 57.
Number ten batsmen Anurag Verma chipped in at the end with what would turn out to be a crucial 13 (and in fact the third highest score of the innings) to help lift Northern to 162 all out.
Wickets were spread evenly throughout the Canterbury bowling line up, but best figures belonged to Ed Nuthall who bowled his maximum eight overs for 21 runs and took two wickets in the process.
In reply wickets tumbled quickly for Canterbury as they found themselves in the dire position of 38 for five.
It showed signs of becoming embarrassing until Captain Todd Astle and all-rounder Logan van Beek brought their side back into it as they combined for 61.
Canterbury’s glimmer of light didn’t last long though, as both were dismissed before their team had even reached three figures.
But yet again they fought back.
Coming in with eight of his team mates back in the shed contemplating what on earth had gone wrong, McCone came out and took matters into his own hands.
He batted superbly to reach 38 not out and came jolly close to turning the tables on Northern, falling just five runs short of victory.
It was a valiant effort from the lower-order batsmen, but had he had just a little more support from the rest of the Canterbury side it could easily have been them, not Northern, who walked away with the points.