The National Secondary Schools First XI Cricket Cup was played on brand new pitches at Lincoln, but the result was a familiar one. For the fourth time in five years Christchurch Boys’ High School were winners.
Fraser Sheat was the leading wicket taker at the tourney sneering 11 wickets as Christchurch only conceded above 200 once.
“The pitches had a bit of life and pace on Day One which was great for the quick’s. They got slower during the week, but they always had a bit in them,” Sheat says.
Sheat who can bowl in excess 130km an hour secured his best figures of the tournament on the opening day. He took 4/28 as Otago Boys’ High School succumbed to Christchurch by seven wickets.
“Otago was a good side and there is a strong rivalry between the schools’ so it was great to start with such a good win,” Sheat reflects.
The pivotal win for Christchurch proved to be their Tuesday triumph against Auckland champions St. Kentigern College. It was a match in which Christchurch always appeared to be on the back foot. Sheat captures the late drama.
“With four overs left they needed six runs to win with three wickets in hand. Finley Allen was at the crease and on 100 so we decided to put the field back and give him a single and try to pressure the other batsman with dot balls. Louie Chapman managed to get a caught and bowled when they needed five to win. In the next over I bowled their number 10, but I couldn’t get the last wicket. Jack Turner came into the attack and dismissed Allen and we went nuts,” Sheat laughs.
Allen struck six sixes in his century. The next day Sheat hit the only two sixes of the match as Christchurch made hard work of a paltry chase against defending champions Hutt International Boys’ School.
Sheat claimed great satisfaction from dismissing HIBS gun Rachin Ravindra.
“Rachin is a really good player. I had played him a few times and never managed to get him out so to dismiss him was great,” he says.
Thursday’s fixture against Hamilton Boys’ High School required no work at all. A washout left Christchurch top of the table with a round to play.
“It was a strange one. We wanted to play, but we knew if it was called off it was properly an advantage for us,” Sheat concedes.
On Friday, Christchurch made short work of Nelson.
“Nelson were a good side. They scored over 200 against a couple of teams. I was surprised we bowled them out for 62, but we planned thoroughly, applied pressure and got the rewards,” Sheat enthuses.
Sheat will have little time to celebrate. Starting Thursday he will represent Canterbury at the National U19 tournament also at Lincoln.
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand