Nathan Wise (left) is a cricketer who likes to rise to an occasion.
Despite poor batting form, the Fernhill/Sunshine Bay Goat top-scored with 35 – hitting four sixes and two fours – to lift his side to a semi-final win against Arrowtown last weekend.
Can he do it again on Sunday in the Mountain Scene Twenty/20 cricket final against Central Queenstown’s Pelicans?
Pelican Brad Patterson (right) doesn’t think so: “He was clean-bowled first up in our round-robin game. Wise won’t last more than three deliveries.”Patterson isn’t all talk. He also top-scored last weekend for his side, belting 36 runs for his Pelicans which beat Frankton in the other semi by 16 runs.
When it comes to the final, history’s no guide to which team will win come Sunday.
Fernhill/Sunshine Bay took out the league’s Sheehy Cup two seasons ago. Central Queenstown won last summer. Of their four meetings, each team shares two wins apiece.
Central Queenstown easily won this season’s round-robin encounter, but Fernhill/Sunshine Bay pipped them as top qualifier.
The Pelicans are enjoying an active build-up this week.
On Tuesday they played the visiting Honolulu Cricket Club, and on Saturday night they’ll be celebrating the 40th birthday of their Speight’s Ale House publican/sponsor Clark Frew.
Patterson: “Lots of Speight’s, Jagermeister, paua, whitebait and lack of sleep will be the perfect tonic to secure victory.”
This season the Goats demoted two of their number, Hayden Cosgrove and Sean Windle, for playing for the Pelicans during an off-season game.
Cosgrove – who took an astonishing five wickets for nine runs last Sunday – was stripped of the captaincy.
Wise says Windle, for his punishment, is “officially our 12th man – even though he plays every week”.
Sunday’s final for the prestigious Sheehy Cup starts 1pm at the Events Centre’s outer oval.