What a summer for NO cricket hotshot


North Otago cricket’s golden boy is ready for some schoolwork and some basketball as he reflects on the most extraordinary six months of his life.
Nathan Smith can’t stop smiling after having one of those summers that will never be forgotten.
He starred for the New Zealand team at the Under-19 World Cup, captained Waitaki Boys’ High School to a first Borton Cup in nearly 50 years, helped North Otago win the Borton Cup and made his first-class debut for the Otago Volts.
All this at the age of 17 _ no wonder he’s happy.
“It’s been a really busy time _ the best six months of my life so far,” Smith said.
“I’m really glad to get all those opportunities, and hopefully I can build on it over the winter and have an even better six months next year.”Smith carried the drinks in Otago’s penultimate Plunket Shield game, against Central Districts at the University Oval, before being given his first cap against Northern Districts in Whangarei.
He was Otago’s best bowler, taking three wickets in a 27-over spell and showing he was more than comfortable at the top provincial level.
“I was a wee bit nervous but I was really excited at the same time. It was such a good opportunity to play that level of cricket.
“I was actually really happy with the way I bowled. It was a really flat wicket so there wasn’t much you could do apart from bowl to a plan for the duration of your spell.
“We bowled to a pretty straight field and tried to be patient.”Smith did not have to wait long for the excitement of his first wicket _ and it was a good one to get.
He dismissed former Black Cap Dean Brownlie leg before wicket with a peach of a delivery.
“I was just trying to bowl wicket to wicket. The ball was relatively new but there was no real swing or seam movement. I was just trying to run in and hit the deck as hard as I could.
“I was lucky enough to get one to seam back and hit him in front. I was really happy with it. Not a bad first scalp.”Smith is now back at Waitaki Boys’, catching up on a mountain of schoolwork.
He will spend time in the weights room over the winter and play basketball to keep fit, before heading back to the cricket pitch and hoping next summer can somehow be even better than the last one.

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