A late night call-up led to a special family connection on the cricket pitch on Friday.
Oamaru cricketer Robbie Breen rang his niece, Jayde Read, at 10.30pm last Thursday asking her to play for the Oamaru Coach’s XI in the Dick Hunt match against Union the following day. Oamaru was desperate for numbers, having only four of the regular 11 available.
Jayde (16), who plays for the North Otago and Otago under-19 squads, answered the call, making her senior cricket debut alongside her uncle.
She batted at No 10, with Breen ‘‘a professional number 11’’ just after her, and it was rare either batters were required in twenty20 cricket, Breen said.
However, they finished the game with an 18-run partnership and Breen, who had only batted once this season, said it was a strange turn of events.
‘‘In what world would I ever get a chance to play cricket with her again? So it was very cool [and] special the way it worked out,’’ Breen said.
He was proud of how Jayde handled herself on debut and praised Union’s players for their ‘‘awesome’’ sportsmanship.
‘‘They were aware she was young and they made sure they kept it competitive, but gave her a chance to see what it was like to bat at that kind of level of cricket — that’s sort of what it’s all about really.’’
The pair had only played backyard cricket together, and it could be their last time for a while, as Jayde was heading to St Margaret’s College, in Christchurch, on aboarding scholarship this year.
While it was a great occasion for their family, Oamaru Coach’s XI lost to Union by 97 runs.
Union smashed 191 for six. Jesse Valpy (83) had a field day and Blake Martin (56) made a good contribution too.
Breen did, however, take two for 18 in his four overs.
In reply, Oamaru fell short, making 94 for nine at the end of 20 overs. Patrick Hewett (22) was the top batsman, while Union’s Blake James took three for 25.
Valley got its first Dick Hunt win, beating Oamaru President’s XI by 28 runs.
Valley batted first, setting up well with 215 for five, including useful contributions from Eli Johnston (57), Jake Matthews (46) and Josh Phipps (41). Quinn Wardle took two wickets for Oamaru.
In reply, Oamaru finished on 185 for eight. Kunal Mahajan (80) was the top-scoring batsman.
Valley bowlers Matthews took three for 13 and Phipps took two for 33.
Albion beat Glenavy by 85 runs. Albion posted 173 for four, with Amal Ashok (85) stroking 11 boundaries. Inreply, Glenavy made 88 for nine.
It is a massive weekend for the Dick Hunt competition, with a double-header round getting under way tonight, before next Friday’s final.
After three rounds, Union is unbeaten at the top of the table, followed by Albion, Valley, Oamaru President’s, Glenavy and Oamaru Coach’s.