Successive Wins - 5 years in a row

Otago Boys’ High School Blue had to overcome a nervy run-chase in the final to claim the McCullum Cup for the fourth straight year at Bayfield Park.

Having beaten Waitaki Boys’ by 27 runs in the round two fixture on Thursday afternoon, Otago Boys’ would have rightly entered the final against the Oamaru visitors with some confidence.

However, it was only a late-innings barrage from Declan Sua which ensured the title stayed with the lads from Littlebourne.

Waitaki Boys’ looked on target for a total of more than 120 early in its innings, after winning the toss and opting to bat.

Nathan Smith (33 off 38 balls) and Rhys Petrie (28 off 27) put on 58 for the first wicket before Petrie was caught and bowled by Hunter Kindley in the 10th over.

Smith’s departure three overs later forced the Oamaru school to regroup, and it nudged its way through to 98 for five from its 20 overs.

Jackson Miller (two for 14 off four overs) was the best of the Otago Boys’ bowlers, although Kindley also conceded just 14 runs from his full allotment.

Otago Boys’ appeared on track to run down Waitaki Boys’ total when Kindley and Gus Wood put on 27 for the first wicket, in just under five overs.

Wood departed for 14, but Kindley kept scoring at a better than a run a ball to reach 27 before being run out. His wicket, in the eighth over with the score at 45, triggered a slow but steady collapse and Otago Boys’ lost its next three wickets for 24 runs.

A runout at 79 for six left Otago Boys’ needing 20 off the last three overs, but Sua produced a cameo of 16 from just nine balls and Ben Lockrose provided the late-innings spine with an unbeaten 16, as Otago Boys’ reached the target with an over to spare.

Waitaki Boys’ Hayden Creedy produced a top spell of two for 14 from three overs, and Mason James was miserly with one for 11 from his four overs.

Otago Boys’ Gold won a similarly close McCullum Plate final at Bayfield Park.

The Gold side reached 99 for eight off its 20 overs and Taieri College fell just short, ending on 95 for seven when the overs ran out.