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Neesham leads Otago to first win of season

Otago 177 for 5 (Broom 57, Neesham 42*) beat Northern Districts 175 for 9 (Brownlie 52, Barnes 3-45) by two runs
Scorecard

Allrounder James Neesham and fast bowler Warren Barnes played vital hands in Otago's tense, two-run victory in Dunedin. It was their first of the 2016-17 Super Smash.

Northern Districts, who were chasing 178 in 15 overs since the match was delayed by rain, needed 26 runs off 11 balls thanks to a ferocious start provided by their captain Dean Brownlie. He faced 26 of the first 30 deliveries of the innings to strike his third T20 fifty. He also ended up being dismissed within that time, which allowed Otago a way back in.

Warren picked up two wickets in the 14th over - wicketkeeper Tim Seifert for 7 and Daryl Mitchell for 8. That left Northern Districts with 18 runs to get in the final over, and in that final over, Neesham ran Scott Kuggelein out, then bowled the No. 10 Zak Gibson and wrapped the match up.

Neesham's contribution with the bat was just as pivotal. Coming in at the 10th over, he smacked five sixes and a four to finish unbeaten on 42 off only 16 balls. Considering Otago's margin of victory was only two runs, every one of those blows were crucial. Neesham was picking up where half-centurion Neil Broom had left off, after the team had won the toss but lost their opener Hamish Rutherford off the second ball. Broom smashed 57 off 35 balls with four fours and three sixes, he was assisted by Michael Bracewell who walloped four sixes in his 34 and Neesham gave the fishing touch.