Aussie imposters draw first blood

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The struggling Aussie-coloured Kelvin Heights Ducks scored a rare win in the Mountain Scene Twenty/20 cricket league last Sunday.

After a first-round loss and only one win last season, the Ducks bowled out Lake Hayes Estate Rabbits for 99 for a 15-run win.

“One from two, we’re quite happy,” Ducks captain Charlie Phillips says.

He admits not all his team are happy wearing Australian green and gold.

“In fact some have said that’s part of our problem. But I don’t necessarily agree,” Aussie-born Phillips says.
He realises this Sunday’s clash against defending champs Central Queenstown Pelicans, who retained the Ian Paterson Challenge Cup last weekend, could be a handful.

“But you never know – we’ve all got the same amount of arms and legs.”

As boss of Queenstown Resort College, which sponsors the Ducks, Phillips has also recruited well in the off-season.

QRC’s new adventure tourism programme manager is John Cushen, who took 194 wickets playing for Auckland and Otago during a 20-year career – though he was absent last weekend.

“When he put his CV in, we found out he’s in the NZ cricket ‘who’s who’ straight after [batting great] Martin Crowe.”

Cushen, who turns 60 on February 15, “brings a bit of mongrel to the team and he’ll get the young boys up”, Phillips says.

In other games last weekend, the Pelicans chased down Frankton’s 116, Chris Julian top-scoring with 48. Jack’s Point Angry Dragons surpassed Wakatipu’s 104 after Glenn “Gadge” Simon scored 49 not out, and Frankton beat Arrowtown by 10 runs, despite only scoring 105.

SUNDAY’S DRAW (all at Events Centre): 11am – Ground 1: Fernhill v Frankton; Ground 2: Arrowtown v Jack’s Point; 2pm – Ground 1: Central Queenstown v Kelvin Heights; Ground 2: Lake Hayes Estate v Wakatipu