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Eye on the ball . . . Riversdale Cricket player Jayden Henderson watches the ball in the air, plays it off his toes and towards the fielder at mid on in a Southland Country cricket division two semi- final on Saturday at Riversdale. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

Finishing top qualifier has given the Riversdale cricket team the green light into the finals of the division two competition, even though it did not win its semifinal.

In the team’s Southland Country semifinal game on Saturday it tied its game with Invercargill’s Metropolitan Club.

Batting first, Riversdale scored 216 for five off its 40 offers.

In reply, Metro scored 216 for 10.

Riversdale captain Jarrod Lindsay said when the score was deadlocked at the end of the Metro innings no-one was sure what to do.

“There wasn’t anything written in the rules about what would happen if we had a tie,” Lindsay said.

“There was a fair bit of confusion there at the end.”

A call to Southland Cricket officials confirmed the win to Riversdale, which had finished the competition top of the table.

Lindsay and Rob Blatch opened the innings for Riversdale and Blatch went for seven in the fourth over.

The next batsman in was Jayden Henderson who top-scored on 75.

“Lucky me and Jayden were able to put bit of a partnership together.”

Henderson who batted for over two hours was seeing the ball well, scoring seven fours and three sixes.

The pair put on 56 runs to steady the innings before Lindsay, on 39, was caught.

Another partnership between Henderson and James McKee put on 76.

The batsmen ran well between the wickets.

“Riversdale’s got a slowish outfield.

“You’ve got to really push your ones and twos.”

The Riversdale score card was helped by 44 extras which included 33 wides.

Thirty overs into the Metro innings, with the team six wickets down and 164 on the board, Lindsay was feeling confident of the win.

However, one over later he changed his mind.

“I thought ‘it’s slipping away’.”

In hindsight the team did not put enough pressure on the Metro batsmen.

The bowlers also conceded 28 extras with 23 of those being wides.

“We’ll need to sharpen that up next week.”

Tharaka Sandaruwan was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of two for 35.

In the other division two semifinal, Waikoikoi scored 47 for two in reply to Central Western’s total of 43 for 10 off 17.2 overs.

Riversdale will play Waikoikoi in the final, at Riversdale on Saturday.