Mitchell, Kuggeleijn fire Northern Districts to cup glory
Northern Districts 144 for 5 (Mitchell 46*, Watling 37) beat Otago 143 for 5 (Broom 44, ten Doeschate 36) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Before Kuggeleijn joined Mitchell at the crease for their sixth-wicket association, Northern Districts needed 32 off 20 balls, and with Mitchell stable, but not particularly aggressive, Otago would've hoped to at least take the chase down to the wire.
However, Kuggeleijn, who had held his nerve bowling the final over against Canterbury, slammed Jacob Duffy for a four and six off consecutive deliveries in the 18th over to bring the equation down to 15 off 12. From there on, a Northern Districts victory was never really in question, as Mitchell scooped Jason Holder over short fine leg for four in the penultimate over, before Kuggeleijn took the team home with a six straight over the bowler's head.
Kuggeleijn remained unbeaten on 22 off just seven balls and Mitchell made 46 not out, but it was BJ Watling who had laid the platform for the chase by dropping anchor following a slow start from the team. Northern Districts lost their openers as well as Brad Wilson to slump to 24 for 3, but Watling stopped the slide by hitting a 30-ball 37, and contributing to a 57-run stand with Mitchell. Watling was however fortunate to be given a reprieve, as he was dropped on 8 by Holder at long on. But with the team still needing more than seven an over, Watling went on the attack and miscued a shot straight to Michael Bracewell at deep cover.
Scott Styris, coming in at No.6, lasted only 16 deliveries, but his flicked six over backward square leg, off Holder, played a big part in Northern Districts wresting the momentum.
Otago had earlier elected to bat, but struggled to come up with the big shots on a slow surface against Northern Districts' disciplined bowling attack. Hamish Rutherford was fortunate to survive a run-out chance when on 15, but did not enjoy much luck a second time around, and fell short of his crease in the sixth over. With Otago's run-rate dipping, Neil Broom and Ryan ten Doeschate both counterattacked with quickfire scores of 44 and 36 respectively, to lift the team to a competitive 143 for 5. In the end though, it wasn't enough.