Unpredictability is one of the many factors that make cricket a beautiful game. But what happened in New Zealand’s first-class competition, the Plunket Shield, is perhaps too much to take. In a desperate attempt to push for a result in a rain-affected game, the fixture between Central Stags and Canterbury witnessed two 0 for 0 declarations.
Such a scenario has been witnessed just once in Test cricket during the match between South Africa and England in 2000 at Centurion. Another recent sighting of such an event was in a 2013 County Championship match involving Hampshire and Gloucestershire.
Asked to bat first, Central Stags reached 301 for seven at the close of play. Rain then washed out all the action of day two and three. The rain gods finally showed mercy and play resumed on the fourth and final day of the match. Central Stags proceeded to add 51 runs to their total before declaring at 352 for seven in their 1st innings. Willem Ludick starred with the bat, bringing up his maiden first-class hundred.
In an attempt to push for a result, Canterbury declared their first innings at 0 for 0. Central Stags also followed suit and did the same. As a result, Canterbury needed to score 353 to win in a possible 89 overs.
But the game soon slipped out of Canterbury’s hands as they kept on losing wickets at regular intervals. They were 9 down for just 131 shortly after tea. Fast-bowler Seth Rance was the star with the ball, taking a five-wicket haul to put the stags on the verge of a win.
But the game was not done and dusted yet. Canterbury tail came up a stunning fight to revive their team’s hopes. The last-wicket pair of Andrew Hazeldine and Will Williams steered their team to the unlikeliest of draws by keeping the Central Stags bowlers at bay for an incredible 25.5 overs. However, the game had a thrilling end as Hazeldine fell to Ryan McCone on the last ball of the penultimate over of the match.
— Central Stags 🏏 (@CentralStags) October 13, 2018