It came down to the final delivery, but the Newman Shield will stay in Nelson after a thrilling tie at Saxton Oval on Sunday.
A swing and a miss and a scampered bye ensured Nelson Pine Griffins maintained their grasp on the Newman Shield in a high scoring encounter against Marlborough.
The visitors’ total of 289 was led by a majestic innings of 116 from Probodha Arthavidu, who provided the major substance to Marlborough’s effort. Josh Poole provided a more than able lieutenant as his half century contributed his fair share of their 138-run partnership for the third wicket.
Debutant opening batsman Tom Sutherland looked sound at the top of the order after opening bowler Sam Baxendine gave Nelson an early sniff with a wicket in his opening over. From there it was a tough day at the office for the home bowling attack.
The in-form Matthew Stretch added impetus towards the end of the innings as they pushed up towards the 300 mark.
Nelson’s bowling attack worked hard on the benign surface and while Baxendine finished up the most successful he was also put to the sword somewhat.
The fielding faltered a little under the pressure of the Marlborough onslaught.
Marlborough’s total of 289/6 from their 50 overs appeared a daunting challenge for Nelsonians.
Tom Ingham and Joey O’Connor guaranteed that the required run rate never got out of hand in an aggressive 50 run opening stand. O’Connor and new skipper Mason Thelin then kept the momentum going and when O’Connor departed Paddy Howes refused to allow the bowlers to dominate.
Through nice stroke play complemented with exemplary running between the wickets the Zohrab twins, David and Thomas, continued to keep the score ticking over.
Their 61-run partnership for the fifth wicket allowed for a couple of timely cameos from Devon Serrurier and Tugaga to set up the finale.
Seven runs were required for the victory or six for the tie off the final over bowled by Tarin Mason. Three singles and a two by Baxendine resulted in Aldridge facing the final ball of the hundredth over of the day.
He did enough to keep the shield in Nelson’s trophy cabinet, for now at least.
Marlborough 289/6 Probodha Arthavidu 116, Josh Poole 57, Tom Sutherland 25, Jerrym Lamb 25, Matthew Stretch 22, Aidan Lavender 20*, Sam Baxendine 3/76,
Nelson Pine Griffins 289/9 Joe O’Connor 61, Mason Thelin 58, Thomas Zohrab 35, David Zohrab 34, Tom Ingham 29, Paddy Howes 29, Nick Weaver 3/38