Mon, Nov 8, 2021 8:36 AM

Nelson reclaim Newman Shield

The Nelson Griffins pose with the Newman Shield. Photo: Supplied.

Peter Jones

The Newman Shield is back in Nelson hands after their senior rep cricket side scored a thrilling four-run win over Marlborough at Horton Park in Blenheim today.

Batting first after winning the toss, Nelson put a score of 212 on the board, losing their final wicket in the 49thover.

Marlborough finished on 208-8, unable to push for victory in the nail-biting final stages.

After losing an early wicket, Nelson fought back strongly through a 104-run partnership between James Graham, 47 from 54, and Jonty Raxworthy, who top scored with 52 from 54.

With the visitors well poised at 106-1 in the 19th over, it appeared Marlborough would be chasing a very hefty target.

However a drinks break broke the spell, Raxworthy caught and bowled by Jerrym Lamb, then Graham being run out in the same over after a direct hit by Akhil Pant.

The momentum swung sharply, Nelson finding runs harder to come by and wickets falling regularly.

A patient 40 from Josh Smith and 22 from Michael Bailey guided them past the 200-run mark as Marlborough’s bowlers began to regain ascendancy.

Nick Weaver and Matthew Stretch both bagged 2-26, while Jerrym Lamb claimed 2-37 from nine steady overs to restrict the visitors to a total well below early expectations.

Marlborough’s run chase began badly, openers Greg Knowles and Joel Lavender falling cheaply.

However, Corey Bovey and Cooper Roberts set about resurrecting the innings, adding 58 for the third wicket.

Roberts departed for 24 from 46 balls while Bovey went on to register the day’s top score, 56 from 87, before he fell in the 31st over with the score at 117-4.

Tarin Mason and Luke Frankland entered the fray and pushed on to 149 before Mason departed for a sweetly struck 47 from 60.

A hard-hit 24 from skipper Tom Sutherland maintained the momentum, but Frankland battled to lift the scoring rate as Marlborough headed into the final overs.

A first-ball six from number 10 Jerrym Lamb left Marlborough needing eight runs from the final over, bowled by Josh Newport, to retain the shield, but they could only manage four as the Nelson paceman bowled cleverly and accurately.

All the Nelson bowlers picked up at least one wicket, Newport’s 2-33 the best.

Spinner David Zohrab was also a standout, bowling 10 overs straight, and taking 1-33.

Nelson coach BJ Barnett said his side were “forced to fight hard with the bat and, in terms of the bowling, we just kept in the game”.

“Marlborough were dominating, so for us to stay involved was really good and to then take it down to the wire was fantastic.

“Luckily we came out on the right side of it, but we could just as easily have been on the other side of [the result].”

Next up for both sides is a Hawke Cup qualifying match, against the same opponents, on December 11-12.