Albion prevails by one in thriller

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Safe pair of pads..... Albion batsman Nathan Heenan is lined up ready to play a shot, but the ball misses his bat and lands in the gap between his upper thighs before drop ping down inside his pad in a Southland Cricket Combined Country division two game against Marist at Hamilton Park on Saturday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Albion cricketers are celebrating what could be called an unlikely one-run win over Marist.

Batting first, Albion were all out for 110 in the Southland Cricket Country Combined division two competition match at Gore’s Hamilton Park on Saturday.

Albion captain Matt King said it was probably the best game he had ever played in.

“It doesn’t get any closer.

“We didn’t look like winning and then we just pulled it out of the fire.”

The pitch was in good playing order but the team did not take advantage of that, King said.

“We just didn’t bat well.”

By the 13th over the team were crumbling at 26 for five.

“Things looked pretty bad at that point.”

Newcomer Nathan Heenan came in at six and restored some dignity to the scoreboard.

“He was a hero.

“For his first game he gave us enough.”

Heenan top-scored on 41.

Returning to the field the team knew they had to play well.

“We needed to bowl well and put them under pressure, take any chance we got.”

However, by the 23rd over Marist was looking comfortable on 85 for two and it looked like the game was lost for Albion.

Then bowler Wilson Heaps removed Antoine Fabre and from that point on the wickets fell regularly and Marist was bowled out for 109 in the 32nd over.

A key wicket was that of opener Jamie Curry (44) who was the fifth batsman to exit.

“He had it all under control [and] we didn’t even look like getting him out.

“Then he gave us the one chance.

“If he stayed in he would have got them home.”

Spinner Aditya Duggaraju took the wicket.

“He might have been a bit expensive but he was the one that literally changed the game.”

Heaps was the most economical bowler returning figures of two for 11 off his eight overs.

“He was one of our best bowlers without a doubt.”

The team is on target to make the semifinals of the competition.