The CPA Legends maintained their unbeaten record against NZ Croatia after a solid team performance at Cornwall Park on Sunday.
The third instalment of this fixture was meant to be the Cro’s chance for redemption - righting the balance of the previous two results as it were. Buoyed with the confidence gained by swatting away their opposition during an unbeaten 2015/16 season, the Cro’s were determined to register their first win against the CPA side - especially after the heart breaking loss in the final over last year.
After John Vujnovich won the toss and elected to bat the Cro’s were quickly on the back foot when Dean Askew snared a wicket with the second ball of the innings. Askew then compounded the Cro’s pain with the important wicket of the destructive Dusan Hakaraia in the third over. A partnership between Mitch Murray and Craig Borich re-established the innings, but just as they looked to accelerate the scoring Borich was bowled by the controlled spin of Ronnie Hira.
Dean Askew picked up another wicket in his final over to finish his spell with an impressive 3 for 14, as the Croatian’s posted a total of 113, which appeared below par on the placid Cornwall Park wicket.
Former Blackcaps James Marshall and Reece Young opened up for the Legends and went about the chase in a positive fashion, and by the time Marshall fell in the 8th over with the score at 65 the Legends were well in control. Young’s CPA Legends debut was a classy display of stroke play, as he manipulated the ball around the field with ease on his way to an unbeaten 70 (37 deliveries, including 8 boundaries and 3 sixes), which earned him the CricHQ MVP award for the match.
Despite losing the wicket of Hira the CPA Legends cantered home to register an eight wicket victory in the 13th over and to complete an emphatic three peat against the NZ Croatian side.
This annual fixture was again played in great spirits and the continued growth of the Croatian squad is a really pleasing to see. This result will ensure next summer’s encounter is bound to have a real edge to it!